01 June 2009

Turkish Style Baked Eggs

I was reading Chocolate and Zucchini the other week and saw Clotilde's link to The New Vegetarian Column in the UK's Guardian newspaper. I was intrigued as I had read about the column's author, Yotam Ottolenghi, on other blog posts as he is the owner of a delicatessen, in the true meaning of the word, in London. I'm always on the lookout for meals that don't involve meat, and Zach and I love getting Turkish food out, so I eagerly read through Ottolenghi's recent columns looking for things to make.

When I had found this
recipe and announced to the office that I was going to make baked eggs with yogurt and spinach for dinner, my co-worker S- actually started laughing. I will admit that it might sound a bit strange, but if you think about it like a variation on eggs florentine, with the spinach, yogurt instead of hollandaise and a bit of chili oil on top, it starts to sound a lot more normal.

It only took about 10 minutes to put everything together and it should have only taken another 10-15 to bake but I can never tell when baked eggs are done and cooked them for way too long. The finished dish was still really good though, topped with garlicy homemade yogurt, even if the eggs were overcooked. The chili sauce was a revelation though-- as its very similar to an amazing sauce that
Zaytinya, one of our favorite DC restaurants, puts on its manti.

I made a few changes to the original recipe, as I couldn't find arugula and reduced the fat content a bit (per usual) so my version of the recipe is below.

Turkish Style Baked Eggs
Adapted from The New Vegetarian
Serves 2-3 for dinner

1 bunch (300g) fresh spinach
2 t. olive oil
4 eggs
3/4 C (150g) Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 T (20)g unsalted butter
1/2 t. sweet paprika
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
6 sage leaves, shredded
salt for topping

- Preheat the oven to 300F (150C). Wash the spinach, remove the stems. Head a big frying pan over medium high heat with the oil. Add the spinach and a pinch of salt. Cook until the spinach is wilted and all of the water has evaporated. If you can, use a spatula to squeeze more water out of the spinach.

- Put the spinach in a small, ovenproof dish and make four wells that go almost to the bottom of the spinach. Break and egg into a custard cup (try to keep the yolk whole) and then pour into a well; repeat with remaining eggs. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the egg whites set. (you might want to give it a stab with a fork to check doneness as it's very hard to do by sight)

- While the eggs are cooking, mix the yogurt, the crushed garlic and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Leave on the counter till ready to serve.

- Wipe out the pan you used for the spinach. Add the butter and turn on the heat. Cook until the butter stops foaming then add the paprika and red pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Add the sage leaves, cook for another minute and turn off the heat.

- Remove the eggs from the oven when they're done. Fish the garlic out of the yogurt mix, then pour the yogurt on the center of the egg dish. Pour the butter mix over the top and serve immediately.


kat said...

What an interesting sounding dish!

Katerina said...

I have never tried baked eggs but I do hear they are fabulous, I know Julia Child was all over it.

Its on the list!

Sue said...

Eggs on top of anything are good! I might be tempted to dispense with the "baked" part of the dish. I might just fry the eggs and serve them on top of the sautéed spinach.

Cynthia said...

I think this is quite nice.