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Recipe: Italian Baked Eggs for Brunch

This Easter weekend was definitely a strange one, and being that we didn't have anything planned for a traditional Sunday dinner I decided to wake up and cook an Easter brunch with whatever ingredients I could find in my kitchen. I had half a jar of tomato sauce left over from a pasta dish, a bunch of herbs like mint, parsley, chives, oregano, some buffalo mozzarella, and eggs...which made me think of 2 of my favorite brunch dishes from 2 different restaurants - Shakshuka from Cafe Mogador in NYC (Moroccan-inspired cuisine) and Italian baked eggs with sausage, tomatoes, smoked provolone and fresh basil from Lil Baci in Toronto (which has sadly closed). I didn't have the exact ingredients to make either dish so I improvised to create baked eggs with a side salad inspired by Italian and Moroccan flavors, with a fresh orange ginger juice to go with it! 

This savory recipe is super easy, flexible with modifications, and only took about 20 mins total to prepare and cook.  

Ingredients

Baked Eggs

- 1 can of crushed tomatoes, or tomato sauce

- 1 ball of mozzarella cheese (I used buffalo mozzarella but you could use regular mozzarella, parmesan, or feta) 

- a handful of fresh parsley leaves

- fresh chives (optional - I just used whichever herbs I had on hand) 

- fresh or dried oregano, or basil 

- a dash or 2 of crushed red chili peppers (depending on what level of spice you prefer) 

- sea salt

Salad

- spring lettuce or whatever greens you have at home (spinach, kale, butter lettuce, arugula etc.)

- cherry tomatoes

- artichoke bruschetta (we had a jar of this leftover from a charcuterie plate, but you could also use artichoke hearts) 

- pickled green beans

- sunflower seeds

- 3 tbl spoon olive oil (1 for toasting the sunflower seeds, 2 for the salad dressing)

- 1 lime or lemon

Directions

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees

- In an oven safe skillet or oven safe glass baking dish add in tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, oregano, basil, and crushed chili peppers. Break the eggs into the sauce, leaving space between them. Transfer to the oven and bake until the whites are set and the yolks are still soft, 7-9 mins (I did mine a little too long, and would have preferred them to be a touch more runny). Top with sea salt, and sprinkle a few more crushed chili peppers on top. Once the eggs are done top the eggs with fresh parsley leaves (or fresh basil) and chives.

- While the eggs bake, prepare the salad...

Prepare the salad...

- Wash the produce (I used spring greens), add cherry tomatoes, mint, and chop the pickled green beans.

- For the dressing I mixed pre-made artichoke bruschetta with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and lime juice.

- Toast the sunflower seeds in a frying pan over medium heat with 1 table spoon of olive oil and sea salt until golden, then sprinkle atop the salad.

Fresh O.J... If you have a juicer, juice 2-3 oranges and a chunk of ginger. If not you can use a blender. I used a vitamix to get a refreshing frothy texture.

- Remove the skin from 2 or 3 oranges 

- Remove the skin from a chunk of ginger

- Add 1.5 cups of filtered water, with a handful of ice cubes

- You could also add a pinch of cayenne pepper for an extra kick and immune boost. Blend together! 

Enjoy!

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