You can’t beat a good egg. Poached, fried, scrambled, in an omelette or a frittata, there’re so many things you can do with eggs. They are also filled with goodness. Eggs contain a whopping 18 different vitamins and minerals, are a source of omega-3 fats (the healthy fats) and provide us with the highest nutritional quality protein of all food sources….so it’s fair to say these little-shelled beauties pack quite the nutritional punch. But should you be looking for something slightly more exciting than just scrambled on toast, this egg-bake could be just the dish for you.
Cooked in a tomato-pepper sauce with quinoa, spinach and mashed sweet potato, these baked eggs are a great lunch or dinner dish to share. Served with a mixed leaf salad with tomato, avocado and pomegranate and some quick homemade frozen yogurt, this dish was the main of choice for an alfresco summer lunch at mine with some of my very lovely friends.
For this dish, you will need:
(Serves 4 hungry girls + 1 father… 5-6 people)
– 200g quinoa (mine is red and white blend – I really like the colour and texture, but normal quinoa would work just fine)
– 3 sweet potatoes, peeled (add in 1 tbsp grainy mustard, a squidge of tomato ketchup and a generous grind of black pepper for mashing)
-Half a big bag of spinach
– 2 peppers (any color you chose, I went for red and yellow)
– 1 onion
-1 Can of chopped tomatoes
– 1 tbsp of tomato pesto
– 1 tsp of harissa paste
– 1 tsp oregano
– 9 eggs
– Big bag of mixed leaves
– A couple handful of cherry tomatoes
– 1 large avocado
– Any seeds/nuts you fancy to scatter over
– Seeds of half a pomegranate
– Maple syrup (or honey) and olive oil for drizzling
– Good grinding of salt and pepper
– 150g frozen raspberries
– 250g yogurt of your choice
– 2 tbsp of honey
Frozen Yogurt recipe
Start with the frozen yogurt so it can chill in the freezer while you do the eggs. This really is the very simplest of desserts, and always goes down well. The ingredients are variable, and you can use any frozen fruit or flavor yogurt you fancy. I went for raspberries and used a mix of vanilla and greek yogurt.
Place the frozen fruit and yogurt into a blender, and blend until minimal fruit chunks remain and the yogurt and fruit are completely combined. Pop it into a tupperware….
And into the freezer it goes. It’s good to serve when it’s still a bit soft, as if you leave it to really freeze up it gets a bit crystallised. It’s just an incentive to eat it all up in one go really!
Now lets get cracking on the eggs (pun intended).
Egg bake recipe
1) Cook your quinoa for 15 minutes in a pan with boiling water.
2) While your quinoa is cooking, you can peel and chop your sweet potato into cubes, ready for steaming or boiling. You want to steam or boil them for the same time the quinoa is cooking, and while they’re both cooking away we can get on with the tomato sauce.
Note on the tomato sauce – This is a simple tomato sauce with a few key add-ins. The harissa gives it a slightly spicy twang and the sun-dried tomato pesto adds an almost smokey flavor. Oregano is the key to tie it all together, making some form of Italian-style sauce. As with my energy bars, this recipe is a bit of an improvisation, so work with what you want to make a tasty tomato sauce! Our sauce is going to have onions, garlic, and peppers – I used one red pepper and one yellow.
3) Finely chop and cook the onion for 5 minutes and then add the sliced peppers. Here you want to add in your harissa, pesto and oregano, followed by the chopped tomatoes. If you have a hand blender feel free to whizz this up – I used my food processor, but it could equally be left chunky. With the sauce done, it’s time to attend to our quinoa and sweet potato.
5) Take the quinoa off the heat and drain. Separately mash the potato, mixing it with the tomato sauce and add in 1 tbsp grainy mustard, a squidge of tomato ketchup and a generous grind of black pepper. Combine the drained quinoa and mashed potato/tomato mix together, adding in the spinach in bits until it is all wilted.
6) Spread the quinoa/sweet potato/tomato/spinach mash in a baking tray, and make little circular indentations for eggs to nestle in. Crack in eggs, and don’t worry if the whites spill over their allocated mini-holes.
There’s no real art form involved in this, it really is just a combination of all the ingredients in a bowl, and for the dressing I chose a very simple olive oil drizzle with a touch of maple syrup – I use this slight sugary touch to really bring out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
The muffins served alongside the yogurt were baked by my wonderful friend Lily, and are from an Ottolenghi recipe. They were truly sumptuous – nutty and rich but not overly sweet, they went down a treat. I found the recipe reposted on the website What Rachel Ate, which is also a fantastic blog.
All this delicious food, and the company of some gorgeous girls and sunshine. A perfect afternoon!