Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Baked eggs with greens, yogurt, and spiced butter

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Sorry for the lack of posts in the last couple weeks. Things suddenly got very busy, due to my job search as well as a number of social and family commitments, and I was having trouble coming up with good recipe ideas. But after a very, very relaxing few days at my parents' house, I'm ready to get cooking again! There's nothing like being spoiled by my parents to get me re-energized =).

I have been having a lot of fun creating original recipes lately, but it's still always nice to get back into my cookbooks for a while and get new inspiration from there. If you are a regular reader, then you know that I am a big fan of Yotam Ottolenghi, the author of Plenty. Flipping through Plenty always gets my mind buzzing with interesting ideas and flavor combinations, and I seem to come across something new every time I look through the book. This time I was drawn in by a recipe for baked eggs with arugula, yogurt, and chile oil. A variation of the same recipe appeared in the January 2012 issue of Bon Appetit, and I decided to mix and match components from the two Ottolenghi recipes along with a couple twists of my own.

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We loved this dish - with some toasted crusty bread, it made a wonderful dinner, and would be equally good for brunch or lunch. It's got spinach and arugula, which makes it perfect for spring, and the creamy yogurt is the perfect complement to the spiced butter that is drizzled over the whole dish.

Baked eggs with greens, yogurt, and spiced butter
Adapted from Plenty and Bon Appetit
Served 2 as a main dish, or 4 as part of a larger meal

3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used 2% fat)
1 garlic clove, halved and crushed (not chopped)
Kosher salt
2 tbs olive oil
1 medium leek, chopped (white and pale green parts only)
7 oz. baby spinach
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 oz. baby arugula
4 large eggs
2 tbs unsalted butter
1/2 tsp crushed red chile flakes
1/4 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chopped fresh mint

Stir together yogurt, garlic, and a pinch of salt in a bowl and set aside. As you prepare the rest of the dish, stir the yogurt mixture a couple times so that the garlic flavor infuses all of the yogurt.

Preheat oven to 300 deg F. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add leek, reduce heat to low, and cook until leek is soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in spinach and lemon juice, sprinkle with salt, and increase heat to medium-high. Cook until spinach wilts, then stir in arugula. Continue to cook until spinach and arugula are completely wilted and any excess liquid has evaporated, about 4-5 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat. Make 4 indentations in the greens and crack an egg into each, keeping yolks intact. Place skillet in oven and bake until whites are set and yolks are cooked to desired doneness, about 10-15 minutes (if you want the yolks to be runny, watch carefully and take the skillet out of the oven as soon as the whites are set).

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the chile flakes, paprika, and cumin and cook until butter is foaming and becomes amber in color. Stir in chopped mint and cook for a few more seconds, then remove from heat and add salt to taste.

When eggs are cooked to your liking, remove skillet from the oven. Remove garlic from yogurt and discard garlic. Spoon yogurt over the spinach and eggs and drizzle the spiced butter over the top. Serve immediately.

7 comments:

  1. I would love this for brunch over the weekend! I am becoming a really big fan of greens and eggs together. The spiced butter sounds very yummy.

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  2. This sounds great - especially with mint and yogurt! I am really enjoying baked eggs these days! So perfect for topping on.. well, anything!

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  3. This sounds so good, and really pretty!

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  4. I love runny eggs and this looks SO good.

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  5. this look absolutely amazing!! wish i had time to cook this weekend ;)

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  6. Beautiful! I love making baked eggs for brunch. I'll definitely try it with greens and spiced butter next time!

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  7. I love yogurt and I have never tried it with eggs. Looks very appetizing!

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