Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Baked Eggs in Mushrooms with Squash Ragout

Cooking for myself again feels a bit like a revelation. Joe even offered to go to the grocery store for me if I gave him a list, and I almost took him up on it when I realized that I really missed picking out my own food. It didn’t hurt that I had these baked eggs on the weekly menu. A collaboration between two of my favorite bloggers, Cara and Bridget? Oh yes, count me in.


Sometimes I live in a kind of enchanted world because the bloggers I read make very conscious and conscientious choices about what they eat. In this world, everyone eats some variation of oatmeal or a green monster for breakfast, knows what chia seeds are, swears by almond butter, and considers refined grains to be anathema. And they obviously know how to put together a nutritious, filling meatless meal.

But that’s not the real world, particularly living in the middle of the country. At camp, no one I encountered had even heard of chia seeds, and only a few had ever tried a nut butter other than peanut. While no one seemed shocked that I didn’t eat meat, one response I got was, “I don’t really want to think about where my food comes from.” It really burst my bubble since I just assumed that everyone is concerned with these issues.

At the end of the day, the only person’s choices I can make are my own. So I chose to make this absolutely delicious, healthy, filling vegetarian meal. And even though I slightly overcooked the eggs and couldn’t get two of them to stay in their little mushroom homes, I still would’ve served it to company in a heartbeat. My mom even has a standing request for me to make this dish for her sometime.


Baked Eggs in Mushrooms with Squash Ragout
source: The Way the Cookie Crumbles

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 medium yellow squash, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, sliced ¼-inch thick
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
4 large portabella mushrooms, caps wiped clean, stems removed & gills scraped out
4 large eggs
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced

1. Heat the oil in a large oven-safe nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just browned at the edges. Add the garlic and pepper flakes; stir constantly for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the zucchini and ½ teaspoon salt; cook until tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes; simmer uncovered until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position, place a baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 400 degrees. On the non-gill side of the mushrooms, score ¼-inch deep lines ½-inch apart in two directions that meet at right angles. (This will help the mushrooms lose liquid before you add the eggs.) Spray the mushrooms with nonstick spray and sprinkle them with salt. Place the mushrooms stem side up on the hot baking sheet; roast for 8 minutes. Turn the mushrooms stem-side down and roast for an additional 8 minutes, until softened and wrinkled.

3. Crack the eggs into separate small dishes. Arrange the roasted mushrooms stem-side up in the ragout. Pour an egg into each mushroom; season with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes, until the egg whites are starting to become opaque. Top with the cheese; return to the oven and cook an additional 5 to 8 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the eggs are cooked to your liking. Top with the basil; serve.