I’m not a breakfast fan (I know, I know…). I like bagels with whitefish salad, huevos rancheros with sunny side up eggs, poached eggs on crab cakes, and that’s basically it. And now I can officially add these baked eggs in spinach to that list, because they are delicious. My husband falls on the exact opposite side of the spectrum – he likes pancakes, waffles, danish, and all those sweet breakfast options. I make him pancakes just about every weekend, but stick with my bowl of cottage cheese and berries. As you might expect, he was less than enamored with a big pile of spinach for breakfast, so your mileage my vary with this one. If you like savory breakfast/brunch options, and enjoy eating your vegetables, do not delay in making this.
It comes together so quickly, and you can toss in whatever vegetables you have lying around. The original recipe from Gourmet calls for just spinach and mushrooms, but I always add in some diced tomatoes as well. I also double the recipe (the original uses 4 eggs) and thus bake it in a rectangular baking dish, rather than a skillet. The baking time is easily adaptable based on how runny you prefer your eggs – if I’m making this for me, I like my yolks as runny as possible, but I always cater to the preferences of my guests. Leftovers reheat beautifully, although the yolks do firm up a bit while baking the second time around. I’ve made this the night before, baked until the yolks were just barely set, and popped it back into the oven for a few minutes the next morning before serving, which is perfect for mornings after parties when our guest rooms are occupied but I don’t want to wake up an hour before everyone else to start preparing breakfast. This is vegetarian, gluten-free, and very filling – perfect for your brunch table (or breakfast-for-dinner!).
(As apparent from the picture below, my spinach-loving dog was all about trying to sneak a taste of this – which is also why I always wind up photographing pictures of things after all our guests have left. Half-consumed food may make for some less-than-lovely photographs, but I do promise if you come to my house, the food I serve you will not have been licked by the dog. No such guarantee if you raid my fridge for leftovers, though! See also: I need a taller table. Or a shorter dog.)
Baked Eggs in Spinach
Adapted from Gourmet
- 20 ounces baby spinach
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 10 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained well
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 8 eggs
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Bring 1/2 inch of water to boil in a large (10-12 inch) skillet. Add half of the spinach and cook, turning with tongs, until wilted (about 30 seconds). Add the rest of the spinach and wilt in the same manner. Cook the spinach, covered, over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes, until spinach is tender. Remove spinach and drain in a colander, running under cold water until cool enough to handle. Squeeze handfuls of spinach to remove as much liquid as possible, then coarsely chop.
- Cook the onion and garlic in butter over low heat until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and diced tomatoes and increase the heat to moderate, stirring until the mushrooms are soft and have released their juices. Stir in the cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and chopped spinach and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Transfer the spinach mixture to a 7x11-inch baking dish (I find this to be the most useful size pyrex baking dish I own and recommend that everyone has one, but if you don’t, use a 9x9-inch square).
- Using the back of a spoon, make 8 large indentations in the spinach mixture. Crack an egg into each indentation and bake, uncovered, until the egg yolks are set to your personal preference – 8 to 10 minutes for runny yolks, 15 to 20 minutes for well-done yolks.