This weekend was one that dreams are made of:
Dinner and mezcal margaritas at Nopalita. A morning swim with a friend. Homemade brunch with the ladies. A stroll about town and some shopping. Dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Sushi Ran. And was just Friday night and Saturday.
And this brunch!! It was a last-minute idea and was not initially intended to make an appearance here (therefore few photos), but once it came out of the oven, we all quickly snapped a few iphone pics. It just needed to be documented. And once we devoured it, I knew it had to be shared.
I have made baked eggs with spinach before and each time they fell a bit flat. Not bad, but no wows. And so when we were looking at this recipe and truthfully a bit unsure about the yogurt, we decided to go for it, thinking it would add some needed pizzazz. And boy did it!
The chili-sage butter and garlic yogurt took these spinach-baked eggs to another level.
The recipe is adapted from Plenty, a gorgeous cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi. It is a vegetarian cookbook with many of the recipes coming from his New Vegetarian column in the UK’s Guardian. And although I am a devoted carnivore, I want to make/eat/try every.single.recipe in the fantastically photographed, styled and written cookbook.
And this was a great place to start. Next time you are thinking about going out to breakfast with friends, invite them over and make this. It is easily adaptable to increase (or decrease) depending on your group size. My only recommendation is to make sure you have lots of good crusty bread on hand to sop up every last bit of this dish. It wouldn’t be bad with fruit salad and mimosas either, but the bread is a must.
This will definitely be repeated. And soon I gather.
And yes – the food from the party is still coming, I just couldn’t wait to share this with you!!
Baked Eggs with Yogurt and Chili
NOTES: The original recipe called for rocket (arugula) but we thought spinach sounded better and I see no reason to try the other. This was divine. Just make sure you have lots of spinach on hand – it shrinks down to nothing!! We had a bit less than the recipe called for, and I would’ve like the full amount of greens.
Also, Yotam’s version used weights, so here are my (Google with rounding) approximations.
This recipe serves 2 – we 1.5x it and was perfect for 3 for brunch, with a lil‘ fruit salad and toast on the side.
–10 oz. fresh spinach (since raw spinach has a much larger volume compared to its weight, I decided not to give this one a cup measurement. If you buy it packed, this is more helpful anyway and if you buy it loose, use the scale) 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 eggs 1 c. greek yogurt 1 clove garlic, crushed 3½ tablespoons butter ½ teaspoon kirmizi biber* or a mixture of sweet paprika and chili flakes 6 sages leaves, shredded salt
Preheat oven to 350ºF. In an ovenproof sauté-pan or cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add spinach and a pinch of salt and sauté for about 5 minutes until the spinach has wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated.
Using the back of a wooden spoon, make 4 wells in the spinach and carefully crack an egg into each well without breaking the yolk. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until the whites of the eggs are just set. (You could also transfer the greens to individual dishes and put two eggs in each – for single servings).
While the eggs are cooking, combine the yogurt and garlic with a pinch of salt and set aside; do not chill.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter also while the eggs are cooking. Add the chili flakes and paprika (or kirmizi biber*) and a pinch of salt and fry for 1-2 minutes or until the butter foams and turns a nice deep golden-red. Add the shredded sage and cook for a few more seconds. Remove from heat.
When the whites of the eggs have just set, remove the pan from the oven and top with dollops of the garlic-yogurt. Drizzle the top of the eggs and yogurt with the hot chili-herb butter; serve immediately with crusty bread.
*kirmizi biber is a Turkish spice that we obviously did not have on hand. Here is Yotem’s describtion of it:
“a common Turkish spice made from crushed chiles that have been rubbed with oil and often orasted. The Turks use it as a general confiment and also add it to melted butter to give that final touch to many dishes. Kirmizi biber has a sweet aroma and can vary in spiciness. You can get it from Turkish grocers ot try http://www.chileseeds.co.uk. Alternatively, use plain chili fales mixed with some sweet paprika.”