Weekend brunch is often done in restaurants (and perhaps with a bit of a headache from the night before), but we really must work on bringing it back home. I know I don’t do it often enough, but it is such a shame … case in point.
Last weekend, some friends were in town for Outside Lands, and we had plans to meet Saturday morning for brunch before heading to the park. But a quick glance in my fridge revealed some things that needed to be put to use, so we changed the arrangements for brunch at home.
A perennial favorite (that also made use of the arugula and spinach that were some of the must-be-used culprits) are the baked eggs with rocket, chili & yogurt from Yotem Ottolenghi’s Plenty. The original recipe calls for arugula, I have made it before with spinach, and this time I used a combo. I doubled the recipe, which gave us 8 eggs (also, # of eggs in fridge) and was perfect for 5 people. I am sure no one would have complained with 2 eggs a piece, but I was fine with one … plus all the other goodies.
To supplement the fridge basics, I did a quick run for bacon (roasted in the oven – my favorite – less work & less mess), orange juice and bread. The bread became pan con tomate, with fresh from the vine tomatoes that Audra brought straight from the farm, and the orange juice met up with bubbly for brunch-required mimosas.
A few more beverages (flat + sparkling, bloody marys and coffee) as brunch calls for LOTS of drink options, some fruit and a bit more yogurt, and well, I may just give up my standing brunch at Nopa.
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. 8/12 update: used both arugula & spinch … worked great!
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. 8/12 update: doubled it instead and served 5 … 2.5x would have been perfect, for 2 eggs each.
–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.”