The best part of hosting a brunch is the opportunity to catch up with old friends and family over a leisurely meal.
The worst part of hosting a brunch is getting stuck in the kitchen cooking up the aforementioned leisurely meal.
Before you decide to serve your guests bagels and cream cheese there is, fortunately, another solution: an egg bake. While the Midwestern-casserole version of this dish certainly works and feeds an army, I’d also suggest trying Aran Goyoaga’s ingenious Baked Eggs with Leeks & Dandelion Greens recipe from the new Cherry Bombe cookbook.
It’s an elegant main course that’s sure to impress and you can do most of the prep work before your guests arrive. It just needs to bake for about 10 minutes and can even be served in your cast-iron skillet or pan for the farm-to-table aesthetic. Goyoaga, according to Cherry Bombe, created the recipe on the fly when some friends popped by for an unexpected visit.
Be warned: The dish is so good you may find yourself making it even when you have no guests!
Baked Eggs with Leeks & Dandelion Greens
Created by Aran Goyoaga
3 Tbsp Olive oil
1 medium Leek, sliced
1 small Yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 Garlic cloves, minced
.5 tsp Kosher salt, plus more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups Chopped dandelion greens (escarole also works well)
.5 cup Heavy cream
4 oz Goat cheese
6 large Eggs
2 Tbsp finely chopped Fresh chives
2 Tbsp finely chopped Toasted almonds
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the olive oil in a medium oven-safe sauté pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leek, onion, and garlic, then sprinkle with the salt and season with pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft and beginning to caramelize, about 7 minutes.
Add the dandelion greens and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, until wilted. Remove the pan from the heat.
Pour the heavy cream over the vegetables and dot with pieces of the goat cheese. Crack the eggs one at a time and nestle them evenly on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle each yolk with a tiny pinch of salt and some pepper.
Bake the eggs until the whites are set but the yolks are still soft, about 10 minutes. Check frequently so as not to overcook the yolks.
Sprinkle with the chives and almonds, then slice and serve while warm. Recipe makes 4 to 6 servings.
Reprinted from Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook. Copyright © 2017 by Cherry Bombe, Inc. Photography by Alpha Smoot. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.