Baked Eggs with yogurt and chile

This really is my favorite new brunch recipe. It's from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty and I find that I've been getting a lot of mileage out of this cookbook. The recipes are vegetarian but not in a "I can't eat meat and that sucks" vegetarian kind of way; instead, it uses lots of inspiration from Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and even Asian ways of cooking and flavoring things. So you never feel like "oh my god I'm missing meat". 

This recipe is ridiculously easy to make but the results are so deeply satisfying. I think it also holds a special place in my heart because it uses kirmizi biber, a Turkish dried red chile flake that we encountered everywhere when we were in Turkey. In fact, we've been using up our supply that we bought at the farm that we spent a few weeks working at - we'll have to make a trip to Sahadi's or Kalyustan's soon to remedy that situation.
This is my take on the recipe - I made a few changes and substitutions to the original. The original called for arugula but I really like it with chard or kale. I also like to add fresh chilies in at the beginning to give it more of a kick, but of course you can leave that out.

Serves 2
  • 1/2 bunch of swiss chard, stems and leaves separated
  • 1/2 serrano or jalapeno chile, chopped (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic glove, minced
  • 2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp kirmizi biber (you can substitute a mix of dry pepper flakes and cayenne pepper)
  • 6 sage leaves, shredded
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Chop the stems of the chard into bite sized pieces and set aside in a bowl. Chop the chard leaves and put it in another bowl. Heat a pan over medium heat, when it's ready add the olive oil. Add the chard stems, a bit of salt and saute for about four minutes. When soft, add the chard leaves and chopped fresh chilies. Saute for another 3-4 minutes until wilted. 

Transfer to a small ovenproof dish and make four deep indentations in the chard. Break an egg into each hollow, taking care not to break the yolk. Place in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes or until the egg whites are set.

While the eggs are in the oven, mix the yogurt with the garlic and the pinch of salt. Stir well and set aside; do not chill.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the kirmizi biber and a pinch of salt and fry for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the butter starts to foam and turns a nice golden-red. Add the sage and cook for a few more seconds. Remove from the heat.

Once the eggs are cooked, take them out of the oven. Spoon the yogurt over the center and pour the hot chile butter over the yogurt and eggs. Serve immediately.