I know people are always saying it, but I truly cannot believe that it is Friday again, let alone the middle of July!!! Time is truly racing!! With a kinda crazy work schedule lately, it looks like it's not going to be all that relaxing a summer, but if there's one thing I always do try to make things a little calmer and more special than the regular year when we're generally running out to hockey or soccer things all weekend, is to make lazy weekend breakfasts filled with foods we don't have the time for during the week. And this easy-to-make baked eggs and spinach casserole with a divine crispy garlicky topping fits the bill perfectly and is one of our new favorites. It's straight from the pages of Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant, the adorably fun subject of today's Famous Friday post. And let me tell you guys, this book is aptly named!
If you follow food blogs, you may recognize Jessica from her very popular site How Sweet It Is. Not only are her recipes innovative, down to earth and for the most part, consciously healthy, but her writing is a hoot too! And she's all about family and keeping traditions alive even while creating new versions of the classics, like Amaretto-Butternut Squash Soup (my husband will be all over this!), Grown-up PB&J's, Baked Black Raspberry Oatmeal with a Brown Butter Drizzle, Banana Macaroon Smoothie, Oatmeal Cookie Granola and so many more excitingly-titled recipes and enticing photos that make you want to head right for the kitchen, like this easy but amazingly flavorful and delicious Baked Eggs with Spinach and Garlic Butter Bread Crumbs! Seriously delish, guys, pun intended!!
Before we get started on the recipe, I want to share this link about the health benefits of addimg more spinach to your diet from Cooking Detective.com. It's incredibly informative and will make you feel even better about making this "Delish" dish!!
And not only is this seriously delish but seriously easy and versatile too! As long as you have eggs, fresh spinach, some sort of cheese and panko in the house, you can whip this up in no time. You start by placing a generous amount of spinach in a baking dish (you can even make things easier and use the bag of already washed and ready to go kind).
You top the spinach with some shredded cheese--the original recipe calls for fontina but I had a ton of Monterey Jack in the house that needed to be used up, so that's what I subbed in.
Next you crack eggs on top of that, sprinkle on more cheese and bake. When the casserole is done, some 18-20 minutes later, you top the whole thing with panko crumbs that have been combined with brown butter, fresh garlic, fresh herbs and parsley. Can we say flavorful?!!!
Add some crusty bread and you've got a breakfast that is absolutely worth waking up for! The cheese gets crunchy on top but gooey underneath and combines perfectly with the eggs, spinach and garlicky topping. This would be a great party brunch offering too since it can easily be tossed together right before you want to serve it and if you want to keep it less messy, you can bake it a couple of minutes longer so that the eggs aren't runny (although, in my opinion, it's best when the eggs are a little loose and you can use that bread to mop up every delightful drop!)
So this weekend, make it "Simply Delish" and check out Jessica's book and website. You'll love 'em both. And have a fun and hopefully relaxing couple of days with those you love. More great summery stuff to come next week, including the most fun s'mores bars that I've been trying blog since I made them for July 4th! Sorry guys, it's those darn show rewrites!!! Stay cool!
Seriously Delish's Baked Eggs with Spinach and Garlic Butter Bread Crumbs-Famous Fridays
Makes 4-5 servings
Prep Time: 10-12 minutes; Bake Time: 18-20 minutes
- 6-8 ounces fresh spinach (I used baby spinach in a bag)
- 8 ounces freshly grated cheese (I used Monterey Jack--use whatever you like)
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons half-and-half
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/3 cup panko crumbs
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsely
- 2 tablespoons any fresh chopped herbs (optional--I didn't have any on hand and it was great without it too)
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF and spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
2. Place the spinach on the bottom of the pan, spreading it out as evenly as possible. Sprinkle half of the cheese evenly across the top. Then, cracking the eggs one at a time into a bowl, so that they don't break, carefully dump the eggs anywhere across the casserole. Sprinkle the top with salt and pepper and then drizzle the half-and-half across the entire dish. Cover the top with the remaining cheese.
3. Bake the casserole for 18-20 minutes. I would start checking at the 18 minute mark, especially if you want your eggs runny. It's delicious with the eggs cooked more firmly and you may even like it better that way, but there's no going back, so check early if you want them loose. If you like, you can run the dish under the broiler for a minute or so to make the cheese get especially golden and bubbly but it might cook the eggs too much so be careful.
4. While the eggs are baking, place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly until the butter begins to bubble. As soon as brown bits appear, remove the pan from the heat and whisk for another 30 seconds or so. Let the butter stand for 1 minute. Then, stir in the garlic for about a minute and add the panko, tossing well until all the crumbs are moistened.
5. As soon as the casserole is finished, remove it from the oven and sprinkle the panko mixture evenly all over the top. Top with the parsley and fresh herbs if using and serve immediately, preferably with some good crusty bread.
6. The recipe can be easily doubled for a larger crowd or you may just want to make two.
Note: Recipe adapted from Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant. I subbed Monterey Jack for the fontina, increased the spinach and cut the tablespoon each of cilantro and basil