Like spaghetti and meatballs, this tasty brunch entree is the serendipitous coupling of two dishes: baked eggs and creamed spinach. The eggs gently poach in a well of hot creamy spinach until the whites are just set and the yolks thicken into a golden sauce.
On the surface, the Gruyere in the spinach browns to form a savory crust that you’ll wish you had more.
Because it involves a number of components, this isn’t a quick breakfast, but the good news is that you can make the creamed spinach in advance. Better yet, if you’re having creamed spinach the night before just make an extra large batch and save the leftovers for this luscious brunch the next day.
As with any baked egg recipe, be sure to have lots of crusty toasted bread at the ready to dip into the decadent green, gold, and white sauce that lurks just under the surface.
Baked Eggs in Creamed Spinach
- 220 grams (7.75 ounces) fresh spinach (or 180 grams (6.5 ounces) cooked and squeezed spinach)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white truffle oil
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 40 grams (1.4 ounces) shredded gruyere cheese
- 2 eggs
- Blanch the spinach in large pot of boiling water and then drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze the excess water out of the spinach before trimming the roots off and cutting it into 1/2-inch pieces. Add the spinach to a bowl.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir aggressively with a silicone spatula until the flour and butter are evenly combined and the mixture is bubbling. Do not let the flour brown.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the milk, using a whisking motion with the spatula until there are no lumps left. If you still have lumps, use a whisk until the mixture is smooth.
- Return the pot to the heat and cook until the mixture is thick and bubbly. Add the salt, truffle oil and nutmeg and then dump the mixture into the bowl with the spinach along with the gruyere. Stir to combine.
- Divide the mixture between two 12 ounce ramekins or a larger oven-safe dish. Level off the top and then make an indentation for each egg.
- If you're preparing this ahead of time, cover the ramekin(s) with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you're ready to bake the eggs.
- Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and put them in a cold oven. Set the temperature to 450 degrees F (230 C).
- When the spinach mixture is bubbly (about 10 minutes if they're coming from the fridge), quickly break 2 eggs into the wells.
- Bake until the whites are just barely set (about another 10-12 minutes).
- Serve hot with toast.
Yield: 2 servings
Marc Matsumoto is a culinary consultant and recipe repairman who shares his passion for good food through his website norecipes.com. For Marc, food is a life long journey of exploration, discovery and experimentation and he shares his escapades through his blog in the hopes that he inspires others to find their own culinary adventures. Marc’s been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and has made multiple appearances on NPR and the Food Network.