Recipe: Eggs Baked on Crisped Bread and Kale Salad

Here’s an interesting change from your regu­lar brunch routine. This twist on Italian bread salad makes a texturally intriguing base for baked eggs. The dish is especially lovely when the yolks are served runny, as a rich sauce to be soaked up by the crisped bread.

Serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a main

Ingredients

8 oz/225 g day-old whole-grain artisan bread (about ½ loaf), crusts removed, torn into large bite-size chunks

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

3 cups/60 g lightly packed kale leaves torn into bite-size pieces

2 tbsp roasted unsalted pistachios

1 large shallot, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

¼ cup/60 ml homemade chicken or vegetable stock or store-bought low-sodium broth

¼ cup/40 g halved dried Italian plums (or prunes)

1½ tbsp white wine vinegar, or to taste

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

4 room-temperature eggs

Preparation

Position an oven rack about 4 in/10 cm from the top heating element and preheat the broiler.

Toss the bread in a large bowl with 1 tbsp of the oil to very lightly coat. Spread the bread out on a rimmed baking sheet and broil until the edges are lightly toasted and crisp, turn­ing once, about 3 minutes. Return the toasted bread to the bowl and add the kale and pista­chios, leaving the kale mounded on top.

Switch the oven to bake at 325°F/165°C/gas 3.

Heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat. When it’s shim­mering hot, add the shallot and garlic and cook until soft but not brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the stock, plums, vinegar, ½ tsp salt, and a pinch of pepper to make a dressing, and warm to just below a simmer, about 1 minute.

Drizzle the warm dressing over the salad and toss together to thoroughly coat, saturat­ing the bread and wilting the kale. Taste a piece of the bread and add more salt, pepper, or vinegar as needed.

Put the salad in a shallow baking dish, or divide it between two. Crack the eggs over the top, spacing them evenly. Bake to your desired doneness, 10 to 15 minutes for loose yolks and 15 to 20 minutes for partially or fully set yolks. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and serve.

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Excerpted from Eggs on Top: Recipes Elevated by an Egg. Published by Chronicle Books. Copyright © 2014 by Andrea Slonecker. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Chronicle Books.