Baked Eggs with Basil-Mint Pesto
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
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Recipe from Chicken and Egg: A Memoir of Suburban Homesteading with 125 Recipes by Janice Cole (Chronicle Books, 2011)I've been making basil-mint pesto for years, since the time I didn't have enough basil for my usual pesto and added mint to make up the difference. The combination is very refreshing-perfect for early summer. This recipe is like a deconstructed pesto: The herbs are combined with a hint of garlic and just enough olive oil to make a paste. The cheese is a tangy soft goat cheese, which is spread over toast, and the nuts are pecans, which toast lightly as they bake on top.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter four 5 x 1-inch gratin or crème brûlée dishes or coat them with nonstick spray and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Pulse the basil and mint in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the garlic, 1/8 teaspoon of the salt, and half of the pepper and pulse to combine. With the processor running, slowly add the olive oil.
- 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 slices baguette (1/2 inch thick), cut into rounds or on a slight diagonal, depending on the shape of the baking dishes
- 1/4 cup fresh goat cheese at room temperature
- 8 eggs
- 4 teaspoons chopped pecans
Toast the baguette slices and spread each with ½ tablespoon of the goat cheese. Arrange 2 slices in each baking dish. Top each slice with about ¾ teaspoon of the basil mint mixture and gently spread to cover.
Break the eggs, one at a time, into a small cup and gently pour 1 egg over each slice of toast. (The eggs may slip off the toast and the toast may float, but don't worry, they will bake just fine.) Sprinkle the eggs with the remaining salt and pepper. Top each dish with 1 teaspoon of pecans.
Bake the eggs for 12 to 16 minutes or until the egg whites are set and the yolks are to your preferred doneness.
The basil-mint mixture can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated or make a batch when the herbs are in season and freeze for up to 6 months.
This is an easy dish to make for guests because the herb mixture can be made in advance and the bread can be toasted and spread with the cheese and pesto up to 2 hours ahead.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 23 February 2011 )