Baked Eggs with Lemon Basil Cream (Oeufs en Cocotte if you’re feeling French)

Image

We just love a good brunch. We got hooked on weekend brunches at this cute little restaurant near where we lived in Florida, but when we moved to Vermont we had a hard time finding a place close to home and started making it ourselves. Planning our wedding was a great excuse to have a weekly brunch to eat great food and sip mimosas while we worked on some project or another (we were an very DIY bride and groom and made just about everything from the invitations to the bouquets, boutonnières, centerpieces, and programs, and even wrote the ceremony ourselves).

Now we still like to make a big deal of brunch every weekend. It’s such a fun meal to play with because the possibilities are endless. The main dishes can be sweet, savory, fancy, or a big pile of just about anything. This recipe is my attempt to recreate an awesome brunch we had at restaurant called Kismet in Montpelier, VT. It’s not health food but it’s a decadent way to kick off a relaxed Saturday. The feta, cream, and egg melt together to form a smooth and rich combination that is perfect for dipping toast or crusty bread with one hand and washing down the creamy goodness with fresh juice or a cold mimosa in the other.

For each serving (make as many or as little as you’d like)

What You’ll Need:

2 eggs

2 tablespoons heavy cream (calories don’t count at brunch)

½ teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons feta

4 basil leaves

¼ cup diced tomatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

Butter to grease the ramekin

How To:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the ramekin with butter. Carefully crack one egg into the ramekin (try cracking into a small bowl first and then pouring into the ramekin to avoid shell pieces). Pour half of the cream, lemon zest, feta, basil, and tomatoes over the egg and salt and pepper to taste. Keep in mind that the feta adds saltiness so you’ll likely use less salt than you usually would on eggs. Repeat this process again by layering another egg and the rest of the ingredients. Place the ramekins into a baking dish filled about half an inch high with water and put into the oven for approximately 20 minutes if you enjoy runny egg yolks and 25 minutes if you prefer your yolks to be set. Garnish with a little extra basil if you’d like and serve with toast or pieces of baguette to scoop up every last bit of sauce.

Advertisements

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

photo

My grandma used to make me vegetable lasagna when she would come to visit and I loved picking it at for the whole week. Now I’ve come up with my own roasted vegetable version and I think it’s a great, hearty option for a Meatless Monday or any day you want to pack in lots of vegetables and still feel satisfied. In our household, it’s a great way to use up whatever vegetables we have in the fridge before they go bad. You really can throw in just about any vegetable you’d like. This is also a great make-ahead option if you are planning on serving a crowd or if you’re dropping off a family meal for friends.

What You’ll Need:

A pile of your favorite vegetables, we used –

1 large eggplant

4 small zucchinis

1 onion

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

1 cup of mushrooms

2 cups of spinach

1 box of lasagna

15 ounce container of ricotta

8 ounce bag of shredded mozzarella

1 ounce parmesan

1 45 ounce jar of your favorite pasta sauce (we used Prego traditional)

Italian seasoning or a blend of basil, oregano, thyme, and parsley

Garlic powder

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Optional fresh basil

How To:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the eggplant and zucchini into ¼ inch rounds and cut the onion, peppers, and mushrooms into ½ inch pieces. Toss the vegetables with approximately 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning to taste. Spread evenly onto baking sheets and roast for about 30 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, mix together the ricotta, half of the mozzarella, parmesan, spinach, and Italian seasoning in a bowl.

During the last ten minutes of roasting, prepare the lasagna noodles according to package instructions and strain. They may stick together if they are left to rest too long, but running them under water can help to pull them apart. Oil a baking pan and spoon enough sauce to coat the bottom before beginning to layer the lasagna.

Lay the first layer of noodles and top with the eggplant and zucchini, then cover the vegetables with sauce.

photo (4)

Then, lay down another layer of noodles and spread half of the ricotta mixture. If you’re not afraid to get dirty, smushing this around with your hands seems to work best.

photo (3)

On the next layer of noodles, spread the onions, peppers, and mushrooms and cover with more sauce. Then add one more layer of the ricotta mixture.

photo (2)

Finally, cover the last layer of noodles with the remaining sauce, optional fresh basil, and the rest of the mozzarella. At this point you can cover the dish and freeze it for later or bake it 400 degrees for approximately 30-40 minutes or until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.

Let rest for at least twenty minutes before slicing and enjoy!

photo (1)

The Vine:

photo (6)

The fresh basil in this recipe is optional but adds a great burst of freshness to the dish. It also makes a perfect garnish if you like to make food look as good as it tastes. This is another herb that I would recommend starting with if you have any interest in a home herb garden. It’s relatively easy to find, inexpensive, and easy to maintain. Just make sure it gets lots of light, water thoroughly approximately once each week, and pinch off leaves from the top of each stem rather than the bottom to promote bushy growth.