Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms

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Disclaimer: this dish is ten times more delicious than it looks. I blame the unnatural lighting.

Last week my roommate was pan-frying mushrooms with olive oil and thyme.  This resulted in 1.) me lingering around the kitchen just to savor the smell and 2.) the realization that I never, ever use mushrooms to cook.  Fast-forward a few days and here I am, with a carton of mushrooms taking up the precious fridge space.  So proud.

I am awful at describing what things taste like because I just say it’s all just good and that’s the only thing that matters.  But, this was extra special.  Because it’s so healthy and wholesome, but has such a deep taste.  I am now deeply converted to mushrooms.

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So, go pull your cast-iron skillet pan out and feel fancy making baked eggs with mushroom and spinach for brunch.

Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms

From Smitten Kitchen // makes 12 portions

2 pounds (32 ounces) ounces fresh baby spinach or regular spinach leaves
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
3 small garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
12 large eggs
6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring 1/2 inch water to a boil in a very large ovenproof heavy skillet, then add half of spinach and cook, turning with tongs, until wilted, about 30 seconds. Add remaining spinach and wilt in same manner, then cook, covered, over moderately high heat until spinach is tender, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and cool under cold running water. Gently squeeze handfuls of spinach to remove as much liquid as possible, then coarsely chop. You will have about 2 cups fairly tightly packed cooked spinach.

2. Wipe skillet dry, then melt butter over medium-low heat. Cook onion and garlic until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and increase heat to medium-high, then cook, stirring, until mushrooms have softened, exuded liquid and that liquid has cooked off, about 5 minutes. Stir in cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg (if using), and chopped spinach and bring back a simmer. Remove skillet from heat.

3. If baking eggs in this skillet, make 12 large indentations in mixture, each large enough to fit an egg. Otherwise, you can transfer this mixture to a 9×13-inch baking dish and do the same there.

4. When you’re ready to bake the dish, or about 30 minutes before serving, put oven rack in upper third of oven and heat oven to 450°F. Crack an egg into each well. Bake until whites are firm and yolks are still runny. You can check this by inserting a toothpick into various parts of the eggs and seeing whether they’re runny or set, which takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. The range is long due to different ovens and baking vessels. It’s better to have to check more often than to let them overcook.

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