Skillet-baked Eggs with Spinach. CONTRIBUTED BY HENRI HOLLIS
Photo: Henri Hollis
Photo: Henri Hollis

Frozen spinach stars in this quick baked egg dinner

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, I have kept my freezer stocked with frozen vegetables. At first, it was because I worried that it would be hard to find fresh produce. Later, it was because these frozen veggies, like the rest of my pantry, extended the periods between grocery store trips.

Some frozen vegetables really can’t replicate the flavor and texture of their fresh counterparts, yet there are a few — peas, corn, and this week’s star, spinach — that are often even better frozen than what you find in the produce aisle.

Because spinach contains so much water, frozen blocks pack far more leaves — and nutrition — into one package than what fits in a typical grocery bag. One 10-ounce box is plenty for most recipes, including this week’s spotlight on creamy skillet-baked eggs.

The spinach mixture comes together in less than 5 minutes. Simply simmer a bit of oil, the spinach and heavy cream until hot, bubbling and somewhat thickened. Season the mix with salt, pepper, and spinach’s (and cream’s) best friend, fresh nutmeg. Crack four eggs into their own little nests inside the spinach mixture, then let the oven do the rest.

I bake the eggs in the upper third of the oven to give the top of the eggs the same heat boost as the bottom gets from sitting in the hot skillet. This method doesn’t guarantee even cooking, but it sure helps. Let the eggs bake until the whites turn opaque but the yolks are still runny. This last step can take around 10 minutes, so plan to assemble any sides you’d like to serve during this time. Bread is a must.

Skillet-baked Eggs with Spinach
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for the spinach
  • 1 (10-ounce) box frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese or other flavorful, semi-firm cheese, such as extra-sharp cheddar
  • On the side: Warm bread
  • Position an oven rack in the top third of the oven. Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • While the oven warms, coat the bottom of a 10-inch oven-safe skillet, such as cast iron, with olive oil. Place over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the spinach and cook, breaking up any large pieces, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the cream and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook until the mixture starts to thicken, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  • Using a soup spoon, create four divots in the spinach mixture to hold the eggs. One at a time, crack an egg into a small bowl and add to one of the divots. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Season each egg with a pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper. Sprinkle the top of the eggs and spinach with the cheese.
  • Transfer to the oven and bake until the egg whites have turned opaque but the yolks are still runny, about 10 minutes. Serve hot, straight from the skillet, with the bread. Serves 4.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 361 calories (percent of calories from fat, 80), 13 grams protein, 5 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 33 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 262 milligrams cholesterol, 446 milligrams sodium.

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