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Baked Eggs with Spinach and Prosciutto

Here, eggs are baked in a nest of spinach, prosciutto and cream for a presentation that is elegant enough for brunch entertaining. For the soft-cooked egg lover, it’s a heavenly combination. Serve with toasted bread or English muffins for dipping into the buttery yolks.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) spinach, rinsed but not dried
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 oz. (90 g) prosciutto, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) plus 4 tsp. heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tsp. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter four 3/4-cup (6-fl.-oz./180-ml) ramekins.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the spinach a handful at a time, cooking until the first batch wilts before adding more. Cook all of the spinach until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain the spinach in a fine-mesh sieve, pressing gently to remove the excess liquid. Transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop.

In the same saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat softens, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and the 3/4 cup cream and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring often, until the cream has thickened and reduced to a few tablespoons, about 4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Divide the spinach mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins, then crack an egg into each one. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle the top of each egg with 1 tsp. of the cream. Carefully arrange the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake, watching the eggs carefully to avoid overcooking, until the whites are opaque and the yolks have firm edges and are soft in the center, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle each with 1 tsp. of the cheese. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Breakfast Comforts, by Rick Rodgers (Weldon Owen, 2010).