Miss South is doing some visiting for the next few days and rather than leave her housesitter* with a miserable looking selection of vegetable ends and a half empty egg box in the fridge, I decided to use up the various bits and bobs therein and make baked eggs and kale for dinner the night before departure.
The iron rich goodness of kale accompanies eggs just as well as spinach does in the classic eggs Florentine and this dish is like a more hearty, less tricky version of that classic. A bit of Googling to get the timings and temperature right on the eggs led me to this Jamie Oliver recipe with smoked fish and cream which would succesfully fill an egg and spinach shaped hole in your life if you can’t be bothered to make hollandaise. Being incredibly lazy after a day’s packing and cleaning, I opted to completely omit the creamy portion of the dish completely and stick to the basics of kale, eggs and anchovies to make a simple supper.
I sweated the kale down slightly with some butter and two or three chopped anchovy fillets until it was slightly softened, then added some tomatoes from the garden that needed using up to soften them a bit too. I then cracked the three remaining Burford Brown eggs from the fridge into the pan and popped the open pan into the oven at 180° for about 10 minutes…
I got slightly sidetracked for about an extra four minutes thanks to some high drama on Coronation Street, but when I got to the oven, the contents of the pan looked perfectly happy. The kale underneath the eggs was soft and tender, the tomatoes were just cooked enough to have the juice bursting out, but not enough to collapse. The kale on top was slightly crispy more like the wonder that are kale chips and the eggs were neatly swaddled by these lovely leaves, looking just perfectly set.
I scooped the whole panful out onto a plate, seasoned it well with pepper, but skipped the salt due to the anchovies and tucked in. It was delicious, light crispy kale tinged with salty savoury umami anchovies and soft creamy eggs merging together in sheer loveliness. The eggs were slightly less runny than I would have liked, but it was my own fault that they ended up a tad overdone. I’ll stick to no more than ten minutes in the oven in future.
Even with the slightly overdone eggs, this was a fantastic dinner. Quick, easy, cheap and only one pan of washing up to boot! It would be terrific with a bit of chorizo thrown in or some sausages or the smoked fish in the above recipe. In fact, it is just a fantastically adaptable recipe for any evening when you can’t quite be bothered to cook, but there’s a rather long queue in Sainsbury’s to buy a ready meal…
*the housesitter got left with two bottles of wine instead!