Baked Eggs & Baby Spinach

  Baked Eggs & Baby Spinach   | Image:   Laura Messersmith

Baked Eggs & Baby Spinach | Image: Laura Messersmith

Need some inspiration to eat more vegetables? Step 1: buy lots of greens. Step 2: realize you’re going out of town for four days virtually guaranteeing a box of baby spinach sludge when you return. Step 3: begin searching frantically for recipes that call for an epic amount of baby spinach, but won’t leave leftovers. Step 4: discover that Smitten Kitchen has you covered, breathe deep sigh of relief.

I genuinely like leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc., but they don’t often make an appearance on my breakfast table. So, when I read Deb Perelman’s recipe in the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook for Eggs, Greens, and Hollandaise I was struck by its brilliance and simplicity. What a great way to incorporate some wonderfully healthy greens (and use them up before they go gunky) in a way that makes them seem indulgent with just the addition of a perfectly soft egg cooked on top.

Deb’s recipe was super straightforward and I’m sure this dish would be delightful with hollandaise if that’s your jam, but I’ve pretty much never met a recipe I couldn’t further simplify with laziness and lack of time. This version captures the spirit, if not the letter, of the law.

  Baked Eggs & Baby Spinach   | Image:   Laura Messersmith

Baked Eggs & Baby Spinach | Image: Laura Messersmith

Baked Eggs & Greens (serves 4)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup (1 large) finely diced shallot
1 1/2 teaspoons (2 cloves) minced garlic
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons softened butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions:
Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Next, prepare four individual sized ramekins by brushing the inside of each one with approximately 1/2 tablespoon softened butter. Set aside.

In a large sauté pan melt together 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the shallot and sauté for 4-5 minutes before adding the minced garlic. Sauté for another minute before adding the fresh spinach a few handfuls at a time. Allow the spinach to wilt a bit before adding more turning the leaves with tongs to coat them with the shallots and garlic. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper.

When all of the greens are cooked and the liquid released has evaporated, divide them evenly among the ramekins making a shallow divot in the center. Carefully crack one egg into each ramekin taking care not to break the yolk.

Bake at 375 degrees F. for 10-12 minutes until the whites have set and the yolk is just beginning to thicken.

Sprinkle with kosher salt, ground black pepper and/or red pepper flakes as your palate directs. Serve immediately with toast cut into long strips.

Inspired by and adapted from Greens, Eggs and Hollandaise by Deb Perelman in the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook (page 33). Similar recipe here.

  Baked Eggs & Baby Spinach   | Image:   Laura Messersmith

Baked Eggs & Baby Spinach | Image: Laura Messersmith

Small Kitchen Friendly?
Yes indeed! I needed 4 ramekins (mine are 7 ounces), a pastry brush to spread the butter, a small cutting board, chef’s knife, and large non-stick sauté pan. Measuring spoons, tongs, and a rubber spatula round out the kit.

The Verdict:
Baked Eggs & Greens is a deceptive dish - the ingredients are so simple, the preparation is straight forward, and yet the results are so delicious you might be surprised how many leafy greens you’ll gladly consume. Picture it: tender spinach rich with shallots and garlic tucked under a blanket of soft egg, served with crisp toast soldiers perfect for dipping. Even better? The eggs and greens come together so quickly that it doesn’t have to be a special occasion to make this.

  Baked Eggs & Baby Spinach  | Image:  Laura Messersmith

Baked Eggs & Baby Spinach | Image: Laura Messersmith