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Baked eggs with tomato and spinach

Eggs baked with cream, tarragon and a compote of tomatoes, spinach and garlic are a simple vegetarian dish that feels luxurious and is infinitely tweakable. 

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Baked Eggs with Tomato and Spinach
Serves 2

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Blue Kitchen

Terry Boyd is the author of Blue Kitchen, a Chicago-based food blog for home cooks. His simple, eclectic cooking focuses on fresh ingredients, big flavors and a cheerful willingness to borrow ideas and techniques from all over the world. A frequent contributor to the Chicago Sun-Times, his recipes have also appeared on the Bon Appétit and Saveur websites.

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For tomato spinach compote:
1 medium tomato

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup finely chopped baby spinach (about 1 ounce)

1 medium clove garlic, minced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)

For eggs:
Butter

4 large eggs

2 tablespoons cream (or milk)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Tomato spinach compote

1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

Special equipment: Individual baking dishes or large ovenproof ramekins

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F with an oven rack in middle position.

Prepare the compote. Blanch the tomato by dropping it into a medium saucepan of boiling water. After 10 seconds, remove with a strainer and set aside to cool slightly. Empty saucepan and return to burner (turned off) to dry. Core and peel tomato, scoop out the seeds using your fingers and gently squeeze out any liquid from the tomato. Then dice the tomato; you should have about 1/2 to 3/4 cup.

Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium low flame. Add tomato, spinach and garlic to pan and toss to combine and coat with oil. Season with salt and pepper and add chopped tarragon. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside. When it has cooled slightly, drain in a fine mesh strainer, pressing lightly with a wooden spoon to remove some of the liquid.

Prepare eggs. Lightly butter two small baking dishes. Break two eggs into each dish, being careful to not break yolks. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of cream over each dish (this will help keep the eggs from drying out). Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Parmesan over each dish. Divide tomato spinach compote between the two baking dishes, carefully spooning between egg yolks. Sprinkle the fresh tarragon over eggs.

Bake 12 to 16 minutes. Check the eggs after about 10 minutes baking time. Rotate the dishes if the eggs aren’t cooking evenly. When done, the whites should be completely set – not jiggly in the center – and the yolks beginning to thicken but not hard. (I found out just how unevenly our oven heats up – one dish was done about three minutes before the other.) The eggs will continue to cook after being removed from the oven. Remove from oven and serve immediately, with toast – or croissants or rolls. Don’t forget that the baking dishes are hot – put them on a saucer or plate to serve.

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