Breakfast, brunch and all things good · Dinner · Snack time

Baked eggs with spicy greens and ricotta

Eggs are such a humble ingredient but give me a runny yolk and a meal suddenly feels luxurious and indulgent. Whether it’s a poached egg on top of a grain based salad, a baked egg on top of a pizza or the humble dippy egg, I am a total sucker. Throw in zucchini and let me know what time I should come round for dinner. This meal will make us firm friends.

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So grab that egg box and head my way…

We start by gathering our fiesta of greens – spinach, zucchini and kale. Super food trio if ever I saw one. While this meal feels indulgent with the (heavy handed) sprinkling of parmesan and baked eggs, the greens are the star ingredients. The heat of garlic and chili brings them to life while we pare them with vibrant lemon which in my eyes make’s any dish complete.

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Herb packed garlic soldiers are the perfect vehicle for shoveling eggs and greens to mouth. Not graceful, not pretty, certainly not first date material, but you’ll both be so distracted by the party in your mouth no-one will care. You need this garlic bread in your life, like now.

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While our garlic soldiers do their thing in the oven it’s time for the assembly. If you’re like me you’ll try to squash as much of the spicy garlicky greens mix into the bottom of the ramekin and then proceed to grate as much parmesan as you feel you can get away with on top. The answer: more more more parmesan, and then some more. This dish can handle the cheesy gooey goodness. Our trio of greens makes this meal pretty much guilt free eating, which means more time for cheese.

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Finally we pop these little baby’s under the grill/broiler and let those delicious yolks cook. Cracking open that egg yolk and seeing the gooey inside run out will bring you such a feeling of pride. And then mopping up every last drop with our garlic bread will become a competition, nay war against those you dine with.

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Serves 2

Ingredients

2 big handfuls of spinach

2 big handfuls of kale, finely sliced

1 small zucchini (courgette), peeled into long lengths

2 garlic cloves, minced

Lemon zest and juice

1/4 teaspoon chili flakes (or more if you want it hotter)

1/4 nutmeg, freshly grated

2 tablespoons of ricotta

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 eggs, large

Salt and pepper

Steps

  1. Add the teaspoon of olive oil to deep pan (frying pan or sauce pan will work fine) and saute the kale over a gentle heat with the garlic and chili flakes for a couple of minutes. Add a small splash of boiling water if you’re worried it is sticking. Add the zucchini and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Then add the spinach along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper, the freshly ground nutmeg and the juice of half a lemon. Let the spinach wilt fully.
  2. Once the spinach has wilted, add the lemon zest to the pan and stir well. Taste and season further if required. Place zucchini and spinach mix in the bottom of the large ramekin/smaller ramekins. Top with ricotta and parmesan, then crack the eggs on top. I like to use two eggs for the larger ramekins and 1 for the smaller ones. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake under the grill/broiler for 5-10 minutes until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

If you’d like to serve some herby garlic bread soldiers along side then carry on reading:

Ingredients

25 grams unsalted butter, softened

1 small ciabatta

Handful of parsley and chives, finely chopped

3/4 garlic cloves, finely minced

Good pinch of salt and pepper

Steps

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C (350F). Slice the ciabatta in half down the center and then half length ways.

2. In a bowl smash together the butter, parsley, chives, minced garlic and salt and pepper. Spread in a thick layer over the 4 sections and then sandwich them back together. Wrap tightly in foil and bake in the over for 15-20 minutes depending on how crispy you want them. Slice into thick soldiers.

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