Spring Brunch: Eggs in a Nest

Spring is my favorite time of year for eating eggs fresh from the farm. The chickens are feasting on grass and bugs galore and you can taste all the new growth and life in their rich golden yolks. Between the production of our “layers”, AKA egg-laying hens, here at North Mountain Pastures, and the many Amish farmers in the area, we eat a lot of eggs. I typically start each day with two fried in lard, or the occasional scramble or omelet if I’m feeling ambitious.

Meanwhile, back in Brooklyn, our pal Ray Bradley provides Brad with eggs, and they are absolutely at their prime right now. On a recent weekend visit home, after our usual dog walk/Greenmarket Saturday morning routine, Brad and I set to making brunch. Inspired by a pile of gorgeous green spinach, tiny fingerling potatoes and a nice bunch of chives, I decided to stray from my ritual frittata and opted for another old favorite – eggs in a nest. Just perfect for enjoying on a lovely Spring day.

After much trial and error, I’ve found that 9 minutes is the perfect time in my oven to have the egg whites set but the yolks nice and runny. You can easily make this for four people; just double the ingredients and choose a large enough skillet to have room for eight little egg nests. Often I’ll sauté ingredients for 4 servings, then remove half and save them to make a nest for more eggs the following day.

Eggs in a Nest

Serves 2 hungry people

  • Oil or fat for sautéing
  • 1/2 lb. potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. spinach, cleaned, tough stems removed and coarsely chopped (you can use any greens you like, just adjust the cooking time until they’re nice and wilted)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 oz. goat cheese (optional)
  • Chives, finely cut or minced (optional)
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium, oven-proof skillet, heat a few tablespoons of oil/fat over medium heat. Add the potatoes, season with salt, and sauté, turning occasionally until golden and just tender. Remove the potatoes using a slotted spoon to a bowl and reserve. In the remaining fat, add the garlic, stirring for a moment, then add the spinach and sauté, stirring frequently until just wilted. Return the potatoes to the skillet, and toss to combine.

Turn the heat off and use the back of a large spoon create 4 “nests” or indentations around the pan. Gently crack and egg into each nest. Crumble the goat cheese, if using, around the eggs over the spinach and potato mixture, then transfer to the oven. Cook for 9-10 minutes until the whites are set but the yolks still jiggle when you shake the pan. Remove from the oven, salt the eggs if desired, crack fresh black pepper over the pan, and scatter the chives over top.

Serve in the pan with crusty bread and butter on the side and a big spoon for scooping the eggs and other goodness onto plates.

3 Responses to “Spring Brunch: Eggs in a Nest”

  1. #

    shuhan says:

    love love love this! a spring breakfast for me looks pretty much like that too, but because I don’t own a pan that is safe to go in the oven, what I do is I start it off by crackign the egg over, and then cover with a lid to let it finish steam-cooking. like you, I like the eggs still jiggly but the whites just set (:

    • #

      Heather says:

      Thanks Shu Han, that’s a hot tip.

  2. #

    ally says:

    this looks so amazing! off to the farmer’s market i go (no live chicks here)

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