I went on a cleaning spree this past weekend, which involved re-organizing my bedroom, breaking down boxes and scrubbing down the kitchen countertops. It also led to a pantry purge, a refrigerator re-organization, and an overall evaluation of my current food inventory.
I'd completely forgotten that I'd bought soba noodles to make a tofu and mushroom soup type thing (hopefully coming soon to the blog?). I had frozen strawberries I'd been meaning to make smoothies with. And I had just the right assortment of ingredients to make a fun and interesting pesto.
I'm always happy anytime I can make a dish without having to make a trip to the store. And with pesto, the ingredients don't have to be exact. As long as you have some nuts, herbs/leafy greens, garlic, olive oil, and in my opinion, some Parmesan, you're good to go! Thus, broccoli-mint pesto was born.
This pesto just makes me smile. It was created out of an urge to use up a tiny head of broccoli and a large handful of mint, and the result is pure deliciousness. Pine nuts lend a buttery flavor, lemon juice and zest add a tangy vibrance, and the Parmesan gives it a salty, nutty kick. But I now had a food processor full of this vibrant green pesto. What was I going to do with it?
Well, I had tomatoes. And I had eggs. And I'd been eyeing this recipe in my Bountiful cookbook in which an egg was cracked into a tomato and baked until set. This is my version of that recipe. The pesto gets smeared inside a hollowed-out tomato before getting topped with an egg and sprinkled with Parmesan. Into the oven it goes, until the white is set and the yolk is to your liking. Enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Oh, and if you want, I think breadcrumbs could be an awesome addition. A little toasty crunch for the top of the tomatoes :) And feel free, of course, to use any pesto you'd like!
Makes about 1 cup pesto
- 1 cup chopped broccoli florets (about 1 small head of broccoli)
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese
- juice and zest of 1 small lemon
- 1/4-1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine first 6 ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend to combine. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, starting with 1/4 cup at first. If your pesto looks too thick, add the remaining olive oil until smooth. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.
Baked Eggs in Tomatoes
- 2 large tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. broccoli-mint pesto (or other pesto of your choice)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Using tinfoil, create "seats" for your tomatoes (form foil into a small cup-like shape). Set onto the baking sheet.
Rinse the tomatoes and pat dry. Using a small knife, slice off the top of each tomato and scoop out the flesh inside, being careful to leave the sides thick and intact. If the inside of your tomato seems watery, place upside down on a paper towel and let drain. Repeat with the second tomato.
Rub a touch of olive oil onto the rims and upper sides of each tomato. Carefully crack the eggs into the tomatoes, and top each with a tablespoon of Parmesan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Carefully move tomatoes into their foil seats. They should sit securely and not feel wobbly. Place baking sheet in the oven and let bake for 25-35 minutes, until white is set and the yolk is how you like it.* These are easy to over-cook, because the tops of the tomatoes may collect moisture, which will make you think the whites are runny. You can more accurately check for doneness by pulling the baking sheet out of the oven slightly and piercing the egg with a fork.
*I don't particularly love runny eggs, so I kept mine in for the full baking time so that they would be a bit firmer. If you prefer them runny, just bake for less time!
Recipe adapted from Bountiful.