Eggs and I have had a rocky relationship. As a young child, my favorite Saturday morning breakfast was an egg sunny side up with a side of buttered toast, all seasoned with nice heaping of black pepper. (I once thought it would be funny to top the toast with so much pepper that it looked black. Neither my mom nor my stomach were pleased. [I was such a delight as a small child.])
Then there was a phase where I hated them — everything about them, in any shape or form. I especially hated the hard-boiled yolks that everyone in my family went gaga for. My mom called me crazy and my dad called me ridiculous (these things are not out of the ordinary) and people shook their heads in dismay when I revealed my shocking secret.
Slowly, worn down by my parents’ constant refrain of “you need the protein,” I started eating the whites. Fried eggs with a discarded yolk became a daily breakfast ritual, though friends hated eating eggs with me because I very
time-consumingly meticulously ate around the yolks. Finally, too lazy to eat around another yolk at The Smith one day, I cracked it onto a potato waffle, allowing the yolk to mingle with the spinach and caramelized onion.
One bite, and I was hooked. The runny yolk becomes a velvety sauce that is slightly sweet and slightly salty and coats everything with a sunny-hued glow. Suddenly, I began using eggs in everything. There were the obvious frittatas and tortillas, plus a fried egg on top of every type of roasted vegetable imaginable, a quick scramble on weekend mornings, deviled eggs here and there, and my favorite quick breakfast, lunch or dinner: a fried egg atop salad greens lightly tossed with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper.*
Recently, I’ve discovered baked eggs. Mili and I made this spicy, hash-like version a few months ago, and it is absurdly delicious and would be up on this site if I had brought my camera. The idea of not having to watch an egg on the stove and letting the oven do all the work for you, well that’s right up my lazy alley. Pairing this whole situation with garlicky spinach and Parmesan? I think you know how this ends …
*I’ve tried and failed to poach eggs about 1 million times. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong, but I’ve given up. I’m tired of tossing out egg after egg, so I’m sticking to frying them instead.
Easy Baked Eggs with Spinach
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 pound fresh baby spinach
– salt and pepper, to taste
– 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (or any other cheese of your choice — Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Gruyere, Swiss, etc. would all work great here)
– 2 large eggs
1) Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of a large skillet. Add the garlic and saute on low heat until the garlic starts to brown, 5-7 minutes.
2) Add the spinach and turn the heat to medium-low. Toss the spinach continually so that everything wilts equally. Add salt and pepper and cook until the spinach is lightly wilted, 7-10 minutes.
3) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Transfer the spinach to a small 1-quart baking dish and stir in the cheese. Form two indents in the spinach and crack an egg into each indent. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Serve with lots of baguette.