Iconic dish names have to start somewhere. Who invented Toad in the Hole? Chicken a la King? S’mores? I’m sure they all have stories, and if we had more time we could research those stories, but my point is that sometimes a dish needs an official name. And that’s why I Christen (what’s the Jewish version of Christen? Bar Mitzvah?)… I Bar Mitzvah this dish: Eggs on a Green Blanket.
A Green Blanket Needs Greens
Not to be one of those people who say “first, I went to the farmer’s market,” but… first, I went to the farmer’s market. And I gathered up three bunches of greens: one a bunch of collards, one a bunch of Tuscan kale, and one a bunch of Swiss chard.
The next twenty minutes was spent washing the greens, stemming the greens, and slicing the greens. Pleasant work, especially when you’re listening to West Side Story.
Cook Your Greens and Add More Greens
This recipe is inspired by one in Gregory Gourdet’s award-winning cookbook, Everyone’s Table. That one also features ginger and chilies in the base, but here we stick to just garlic (lots of it) and the Swiss chard stems. Once those are sautéed and starting to toast, you start adding your greens by the handful.
What you’ll quickly learn, if you’ve never cooked greens before, is that what you thought was a lot of greens will quickly become not-a-lot-of-greens because they cook down. What’s fun about cooking greens, is you can put them in wet from their wash and that’ll help with the wilting process.
Let’s Put the Eggs on a Green Blanket
Once your greens are nicely cooked down and seasoned (taste as you go, people), it’s time to crack on the eggs. If you’re nervous, you can crack the eggs into a little bowl and tip them on. Or if you’re bold just crack the eggs directly on top. Then you bake in a 450 oven for seven minutes or so, just until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny. At the end, I dusted everything with Aleppo pepper and lots of herbs (basil, dill, parsley, and chives).
Now is that an iconic dish or is that an iconic dish?
Eggs on a green blanket. Say it with me, teach it to your children. One day it’ll be a menu staple.
Eggs on a Green Blanket
- 1 small bunch collard greens
- 1 small bunch kale (any kind you like)
- 1 small bunch Swiss chard
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 6 large eggs
- Aleppo pepper
- Handful of mixed herbs, such as basil, parsley, dill, and chives
- Preheat your oven to 450. Remove the stems from the collards, kale, and Swiss chard, reserving the chard stems. Chop the chard stems (set aside) and cut the greens into 1-inch wide strips. Rinse the chopped greens in a bowl of cold water to get any dirt off and then lift into a colander, leaving all the dirt behind. (No need to dry them.)
- Heat the oil in a 9-inch to 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add your garlic and sauté for 30 seconds; then add the chard stems and a pinch of salt. Cook for a minute or so just until the garlic starts to turn golden. Start adding your greens a handful at a time, with a small pinch of salt, stirring all around. Cook until they're good and wilted and then add the next handful. Keep going like this until all of the greens are cooked down and taste good (adjust for salt).
- Off the heat, crack six eggs on top of the greens. Season with salt and pepper and bake in the 450 oven for 7 to 10 minutes, just until the whites are set, but the yolks are still runny.
- Sprinkle with Aleppo pepper and all the herbs and serve right away.