Do you eat eggs at dinner?
Though I almost never eat eggs at breakfast–I’m more of a grains gal to start my day–I am weirdly, unaccountably loyal to them at dinner. I suppose it’s partly because I grew up eating dinner quiches on a regular basis, but partly because eggs have so much going for them. They’re cheap, first of all, and relatively easy to purchase locally. Then there are all their nutrition benefits. With 6 grams of protein, a sizable dose of vitamins D and B12, and only around 70 calories, a single egg packs plenty of nutrition.
Also, the health concerns that used to plague most consumers about eating too many eggs have been shown to be largely unfounded. Whereas in decades gone by, the medical establishment believed that high intake of dietary cholesterol led to high blood cholesterol, we now know that saturated fat and fiber play a far more important role in blood cholesterol levels. So the days of avoiding eggs for the sake of your HDL and LDL are past.
Which is really good news for this amazing Mediterranean Baked Eggs with Croutons and Tomatoes.
This delightful breakfast-lunch-or-dinner dish comes from America’s Test Kitchen’s Complete Mediterranean Cookbook, a fabulous resource I’ve been working my way through since receiving it for my last birthday. If you like Mediterranean flavors (or dig the health perks of a Mediterranean diet), you’re going to love this unique combination of crunchy croutons, garlic-herb roasted tomatoes, tangy feta, and baked eggs. Something about the match of blistered, tender tomatoes against the crunch of croutons and the heft of the eggs has made this one of my new favorite meals.
Made step-wise by baking the croutons and tomatoes at the same time, assembling, and baking again, this recipe may look slightly daunting at first, but ultimately is quite simple once you get the hang of it. Plus, the baking time involved gives you a few extra minutes to toss a light salad–True Food Kitchen’s Kale Salad, perhaps?–to complete the picture of an unforgettable Mediterranean-style meal.
Bring on the eggs for dinner!
Mediterranean Baked Eggs With Croutons and Tomatoes
- 5 c. French or Italian bread, sliced into 1/2-inch chunks--preferably a savory loaf like rosemary or garlic-infused
- 4 1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 20 oz. cherry tomatoes
- 6 large eggs
- 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the bread chunks with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and spread the bread into it in an even layer. Set aside.
- In the same large bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, tomato paste, sugar, salt, and pepper. Add cherry tomatoes and stir to coat. Spread evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, pouring any additional olive oil mixture over tomatoes.
- Place both the dish of croutons and the baking sheet of tomatoes in the oven. Bake the croutons for 10 minutes and the tomatoes for 20 minutes.
- Once both tomatoes and croutons have baked, pour tomatoes over the croutons and gently stir together, adding an additional 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Using a large spoon, make six shallow indentations in the mixture. Crack one egg into each indentation. Season with salt and pepper. Return the baking dish to the oven for another 12 minutes or until eggs are just set.
- Let cool for about 5 minutes, then sprinkle crumbled feta over the top and serve.
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