Baked eggs in ramekins prove that habits, no matter how well-intentioned, are meant to be broken from time to time. Shaking up your routine every once in a while can be just as good for the soul as sticking to one.
Context: I was recently speaking with my friend Joy Manning for an upcoming episode of her podcast Local Mouthful, and in our conversation I confessed to making the same things for breakfast every morning.
It’s not necessarily an anxiety coping mechanism, but more of a functional bulwark, a way of making sure I’m starting the day with enough fuel. To be even more boring about it, it’s all about getting that protein-carb combo going.
So it’s usually almond butter on whole-grain toast, scrambled egg tacos (or on toast), or yogurt with fruit and nuts.
But on the weekends, when I have a little more time to play, I go for the big guns.
Baked eggs in ramekins look like you’re pulling out some seriously fancy-looking breakfast tricks, even though the dish is no harder to make than a pan-fried egg sandwich.
And their pro-level presentation, all coddled up in cute ceramic ramekins, gently forces you into taking your time as you eat.
Each bite needs to be assembled one at a time: spooning the creamy eggs and surrounding greens onto slices of crunchy, thick sourdough bread, dipping the bread into the ramekin, sopping up every last bit of cream.
While the recipe below makes enough for four people to enjoy for a leisurely weekend brunch, it’s so easy to transpose these baked eggs in ramekins into a single serving.
Just sauté a bag of baby spinach with garlic as instructed, but only prep and fill one ramekin. Save the remaining spinach for your next round of baked eggs, and your next, and your next. . . .
Because it only takes 15 minutes to cook, this could easily be a weekday breakfast if you’re feeling like treating yourself.
I bake mine in the Breville toaster oven, which makes it possible to enjoy baked eggs in ramekins on even on the hottest of summer days.
So when the usual breakfast toast isn’t cutting it, give those ramekins something to do and fill them with baked eggs. (Because, let’s be honest, you probably aren’t using them for crème brûlée anyway!)
- butter or nonstick spray
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 5-ounce bag baby spinach
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup half and half
- freshly ground black pepper
- Maldon salt or other coarse, flaky sea salt
- toasted slices sourdough bread
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Grease 4 6-ounce ramekins with butter or nonstick spray, and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the spinach and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the spinach is wilted and tender.
- Add the garlic and salt and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes more, until the garlic is fragrant.
- Divide the spinach between the ramekins.
- Crack an egg into a small bowl, then drop on top of the spinach. Repeat for the remaining ramekins. (Why do we not crack the eggs directly into the ramekins? Well, because if for some reason you've got a bad egg in the bunch, you've ruined that particular serving. Better to dirty one more bowl than to risk it.)
- Pour about 3 tablespoons half and half into each ramekin. You may not need all of it, since you shouldn't fill the ramekins the whole way to the top. Leave a little headroom, since the liquid will bubble as it cooks.
- Bake for about 12-15 minutes, until the yolks and the white immediately surrounding each yolk are just barely set and still have some jiggle to them. The eggs will continue to cook for a few minutes after they leave the oven.
- Grind black pepper and sprinkle coarse sea salt over each ramekin.
- Serve immediately with toasted slices of sourdough bread for dipping and spooning.