Thursday, March 6, 2014

Greens, Eggs (and Ham?)

I love a dish that gives me room to experiment, and this this versatile greens and eggs dish certainly fits the bill.  A combination of hearty greens, tomatoes, sausage, eggs, and cheese all baked together makes a great weekend breakfast or a quick weeknight dinner.  

I made this for dinner the other night using a blend of pre-cut "Southern Greens" from Trader Joe's--Mustard, Turnip, Collard, and Spinach.  A blend is a great way to incorporate several types of greens at once, without having to buy bunches of all of them.  (And it's a great shortcut!)  For cheese I used some Gouda that was kicking around in the back of the fridge, and a chicken andouille sausage to add some kick!  I was very happy with the results, but I look forward to playing around and using different greens, trying both hard and soft cheeses, and different sausage flavors.  (And obviously, the sausage can be omitted to make this a vegetarian meal.)  It's easy to double or triple for a crowd; I can see myself making this for a brunch buffet and just dumping the whole thing in a casserole dish.

Baked Eggs and Hearty Greens
Serves 2 
  • Butter for the ramekins
  • 1 pre-cooked sausage of any flavor, quartered lengthwise and cut into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced into ¼-inch pieces
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 cups packed thinly sliced hearty greens (Swiss chard, eet greens, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, spinach...)
  • ½ cup grated cheese, divided (Parmesan, Asiago, Pecorino, Gouda, Cheddar, Feta, crumbled goat cheese...they'd all work)
  • 1 tomato, halved, seeds removed, and diced, or half of a 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained (save or freeze the other half for another use)
  • 2-4 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and generously butter 2 ramekins or small gratin dishes.

2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it’s translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.  Add the greens; cover the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until they’re tender about 8 minutes; add a few tablespoons water if the skillet begins to dry out. Remove from the heat and pour off any excess liquid.

3. Stir in the sausage pieces, and half of the cheese and tomato.  Divide the mixture between the prepared ramekins.  Break 1 or two eggs into each ramekin and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Pile remaining tomato around eggs and season with salt and pepper.  

4. Place on a baking sheet and bake until egg whites are almost completely set, 15 to 20 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes before serving.


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