Thursday, 25 November 2010

cauliflower gouda layered baked eggs with tomato and spinach

I first discovered and fell in love with baked eggs last winter, and during those cold months I visited cafe after cafe on the weekends, sampling the myriad of baked egg offerings out there for breakfast and brunch. In the midst of this intense affair, I vowed to make my own baked eggs one day, but it was only recently that this promise was finally consummated. Was it good? You betcha!

I sigh in bliss, for thou art my lovely baked eggs.

A quick aside on how this baked egg recipe came about. A friend introduced me to the delicious gouda some years ago, and it's been one of my favourite cheeses since then. I really wanted to incorporate it into my baked eggs, so I designed a recipe doing just that. What I like about this recipe is that everything is cooked using just the ramekins and the oven, a tribute to my laziness. No separate sautéing of ingredients in pans, no boiling in pots, etcetera, meaning less dishes to wash!

oh my gouda! I worship you with my tummy.

The following are the ingredients I used. The amounts I leave up to you. You might prefer more of one ingredient than another, so create as you wish!

amazing baked eggs layered with cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, gouda, and spinach

Cauliflower, pinch off small florets to use
Cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
Gouda cheese, sliced (I used a mild Dutch gouda. You may substitute with other melting cheese.)
Garlic, finely chopped or crushed
Spinach leaves
Eggs
Olive oil
Salt and spices (I used Spanish hot smoked paprika)

- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. (I use fan-forced.)

- Create a mixture with extra virgin olive oil, spices and salt.

- Lightly toss the cauliflower florets and cherry tomatoes in the spiced olive oil mixture. Reserve the remaining olive oil mixture for drizzling later.

- Fill ramekins (or small baking dish) with the cauliflower and tomatoes - I filled mine up close to half-full. Place ramekins in oven for approximately 15 minutes or until cauliflower florets are just slightly charred at the tips.

- Remove from oven, and layer with sliced gouda cheese. Then layer with spinach leaves. Try to tuck them so they don't flop around. Otherwise, you may choose to weigh them down a little with more cheese. I didn't, but it's hard to go wrong with more cheese.

- Crack the eggs gently over the spinach leaves. For the small ramekins I used one egg, for the medium ones I used two. At this point I drizzled over some of the remaining spiced olive oil mixture but you can also do that just before serving. If you love the fruity taste of extra virgin olive oil, do this later.

- Bake until eggs are cooked to your liking. For runny eggs take them out at 10 minutes or even earlier. If you prefer them fully cooked, it may take up to 15 minutes. Mine was somewhere in between – cooked on the outermost part, with a bit of liquid gold right in the centre.

- Now they are ready to eat! If you want, you can top it with more fresh spinach and cherry tomatoes, herbs, and lemon juice to lighten it up.

a simple step-by-step picture guide!

step 1: toss cauliflower and tomato in seasonings, bake in oven.
step 2: retrieve roasted cauliflower and tomato from oven.
step 3: layer with cheese.
step 4: layer with spinach leaves.
step 5: crack eggs gently over the spinach leaves.
step 6: season further (if you like - or wait to do it just before serving), put back into the oven.

Notes:
The ramekins and its contents will be very hot after you take them out from the oven, be careful! Also, remember that the eggs will continue to cook in the residual heat of the dish.
Some ovens have their little quirks. I’m still getting acquainted to the one I use. My times are an estimate so you might need to experiment a little to get your baked eggs just the way you like.

For a first attempt, I was delighted with how well this turned out! Though I give props to my gouda, I wouldn't say there was a singular element that was the star of this dish - the ingredients worked as a team, the layers all coming together to a scrumptious final product. I had my baked eggs with a nice cold glass of fruit juice - a suitably refreshing complement to this warm, comforting dish. What a great start to the weekend!

the final and crucial step for baked eggs: eating them.

22 comments:

  1. your photos are awesomE! love the step-by-step =)

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  2. Thanks Al! I wish I had more time to take better photos at the end - but it was more important to eat them before they go cold! :p

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  3. Nice recipe, looks absolutely wonderful!

    I’ve an award for you (One Lovely Blog Award), Please feel free to drop by and pick it up
    http://www.orangeblossomwater.net/index.php/awards/

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  4. That sounds delicious! I loved baked eggs, but usually have them plain (just cream, herbs).

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  5. Yum, sounds so delicious! I also love baked eggs!

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  6. Oh wow yum! I love baked eggs! Cauliflower and gouda sound delicious with it! Enjoy the rainy Melbourne weekend!

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  7. Oh wow! I've never cooked with gouda before.. and the egg yolks look BEAUTIFUL!!! Well done on your first try!

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  8. Thanks everyone! Looking forward to experimenting more with baked eggs in the future. :D

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  9. OMG this looks super! I am never good with eggs, they always turn out overcooked! but i am inspire.. and i absolutely love Gouda, it's one of my favourite cheeses!

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  10. Thanks baobabs! I'm pretty happy with how my eggs cooked but I think I'll make them runnier next time. And yes, yay for Gouda! :D

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  11. I gotta try to make this 'cause it looks so good! And it has all my favorite ingredients!! :)

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  12. Such a good dish for breakfast!

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  13. Love one dish meals like this, especially on a lazy Sunday morning. Never thought about adding cauliflower to give it a bit more bulk, great idea!

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  14. That looks marvelous! I've never actually had baked eggs before! I might have to give them a shot!!!

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  15. this made me so hungry. i made shirred eggs a few days ago and that was a flop. the eggs were over-cooked even at eight minutes. the photos of your recipe are so compelling though, i may have to try your baked eggs dish.

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  16. I would love to see your version Melissa!

    That is unfortunate Rebecca, I found the timing a little tricky too. I think I did mine for about 12 to 13 minutes and as I mentioned it wasn't completely runny, only in the very, very middle, which is fine for me as I'm not too particular about how my eggs are done. Still, I might play around with the time or temperature next time and see the difference it makes. :)

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  17. Just made this and it was so delicious!!!!!+

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  18. Anon, so glad to hear you enjoyed it, thanks for letting me know! :D

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  19. This is such a great way to prepare eggs, I love the presentation too :)

    Cookin' Canuck and I would love if you linked up this recipe & any 2 other side dishes in this weeks Get Grillin' event posted on both of our blogs. We have a fabulous Ile De France Cheese giveaway. You just need to link up on one site :) http://su.pr/17fizq

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