Jessica Merchant, author of the blog How Sweet Eats, just released her first cookbook, Seriously Delish. This is good news for several reasons: she’s hilarious, her food is excellent and there’s nothing she makes that you can’t. This comes in particularly handy around brunch time.
I can say with certainty that when I think about current favorite breakfasts, breakfasts I find perfect for brunch parties and the breakfast I want to eat right this instant as I’m writing, fontina baked eggs comes to mind.
First off, baked eggs are another fantabulous way to incorporate some veggies into your life. And forgive me if I’m wrong, but don’t they say that if you consume some veg at your first meal of the day, it sets you on the right track and you’re more likely to consume more veg throughout the day? I think they say that. I wish “they” would say something beneficial about having cheesecake for the first meal of the day. But whatever.
Second, baked eggs are another one of those meals where there happen to be some seriously incredible options and variations. Some of my favorites include roasted red peppers and feta or garlic mushrooms and Gruyère. Please tell me you’re craving that now. In my opinion, baked eggs aren’t complete without some sort of dipper — some kind of toasty bread or baguette that allows for dunking or layering or just any old way to get that egg out of the dish. These garlic butter breadcrumbs intensify the flavor of the baked eggs and truly make for the perfect breakfast. Or brunch. Or brinner. You know! Breakfast for dinner? Brinner. Uh-huh.
- 3/4 cup fresh spinach
- 1 cup fontina cheese, freshly grated
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons half and half
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 small loaf ciabatta bread, sliced and toasted
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
- Take the fresh spinach and layer it evenly on the bottom of the baking dish.
- Add half of the fontina cheese and then randomly place the eggs over the top. It helps if you crack each egg into a bowl first, then gently dump it from the bowl onto the spinach. Don’t worry if the eggs fall through the cracks in the spinach or shift around.
- Sprinkle the eggs with the salt and pepper and then drizzle the half-and-half over the top.
- Cover the mixture evenly with the remaining cheese.
- Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, checking on the eggs in the last 5 minutes to see if they are cooked to your liking.
- If you want the yolks completely cooked, the dish might need an additional 5 to 10 minutes in the oven.
- If you’d like to make the cheese bubbly and golden, you can turn on the broiler and broil the dish for 1 to 2 minutes; however, this will also cook the eggs a bit more.
- While the eggs are baking, add the butter to a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Whisk the butter constantly until it bubbles, and the minute the brown bits appear on the bottom of the pan, remove it from the heat and whisk for an additional 30 seconds.
- Let the butter stand for 1 minute.
- Add the garlic and stir for another minute.
- Stir in the bread crumbs and toss well to coat and combine.
- Once the eggs are finished, remove the dish from the oven and cover it in the bread crumbs and fresh herbs.
- Serve with the toasted bread.
Find more baked eggs on Food Republic: