Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lettuce Pesto and Eggs Baked in a Tomato

Weird title, right? I know. It started innocently enough today. I realized I had a huge container of baby field greens (arugula, radicchio, spinach, frisee, etc) that was getting old and I was trying to think of ways to use it up. Soup, quiche, salad...none sounded great to me.

Then I found this link talking about a romaine pesto and I thought "bingo!" This is how I will use up the greens. Then I read a little further...what is this baked eggs in a tomato thingy?? So weird, I had to try it. Turns out, it was incredibly light, fresh, and delicous!

My pictures aren't nearly as beautiful as the original link at the Smitten Kitchen, but here is what it looked like when I made it.

I started with the lettuce pesto, on which I improvised a little. Traditional pesto is basil, pinenuts, garlic, parm, salt/pepper, and olive oil. I substituted lettuce for basil and toasted walnuts for the pinenuts.

Then I hollowed out a tomato (by the way, this recipe will be killer in the fall with real tomatoes) with a sharp knife, added a layer of pesto, and cracked an egg into the well. Topped with salt and pepper and baked in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes. I actually way overcooked the egg because I kept checking and saw water on the top of the tomato and thought it was the egg-white but I think it was just the water from the tomato itself. I will try this recipe again and aim for a runny yolk.

I served the eggy-pestoey-tomato with roasted asparagus with my newest culinary obsession - thinly sliced shallot.

Lettuce Pesto
Mixed field greens (or spinach) - enough to fill your food processor
2 cloves garlic
Handful toasted walnuts
Handful grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Pulse first 5 ingredients in a food processor until chopped, stream in olive oil until it makes a paste. Freezes very well.

Eggs Baked in a Tomato
1 medium tomato
lettuce pesto
1 egg
salt and pepper
parmesan cheese

Slice a tiny bit off the bottom of the tomato so it stands up. Slice off the top of the tomato and use a knife and spoon to hollow it out. Spoon some pesto into the hollow tomato and crack an egg into it. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Roasted Asparagus and Shallot
Asparagus, washed and trimmed
One medium shallot, sliced thin
salt, pepper, olive oil

Mix all ingredients on a baking sheet, roast for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

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