eggs with leeks, sorrel, chilis, tomato, fenugreek, cream

I could try to convince the reader that the generous serving on the plate above was for the two of us, but I won’t. Instead I’ll say, it just looks big.

And here it looks even bigger.

The meal was going to fall between a day with a fish entrée and one with meat, and normally I would put a pasta together a vegetarian pasta in such a situation. Instead, remembering that I had many more eggs in the refrigerator than usual, and some sympathetic vegetables to go with them, I decided to go with the eggs, and forgo our usual Sunday morning spread the next day.

I constructed still another variation of what had been merely an idea of baked eggs I had found several years ago, when Mark Bittman’s 2007 recipe, ‘Baked Egg With Prosciutto and Tomato‘ became the starting point for a number of delicious improvisations (it’s hard to go wrong with eggs, tomatoes, and most any allium, even when there’s no cured pork around, and almost anything else that can be added is, well, ‘gravy’).

But I was pretty excited about the sorrel this time.

  • four medium leeks from Phillips Farms, trimmed, sliced lengthwise, and cooked in 3 tablespoons of butter inside a large heavy antique high-sided, tin-lined copper sauté pan until they were tender, after which about a cup of baby green sorrel from Lani’s Farm, mixed with some chopped parsley from Stokes Farm (the parsley added mostly to retain a green color, as the sorrel turns a dull drab olive green when heated), was added to the pot and stirred in, the leek mixture transferred to a buttered glazed ceramic oven dish and spread evenly around the bottom surface, 8 small Americauna eggs from Millport Dairy Farm cracked on top, and 6 large  Backyard Farms Maine ‘cocktail tomatoes’ from Whole Foods, each cut into 3 slices, scattered around the eggs, a few ounces of heavy cream poured onto the surface of the eggs and the tomatoes, the dish seasoned with sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, a bit of crushed dried Sicilian peperoncino from Buon Italia, and a pinch of dried fenugreek from Bombay Emerald Chutney Company, the pan set on a rack in the middle of an oven that had been heated to 400º until the eggs had set and the cream almost entirely absorbed (I think it was 25 minutes this time), served on 2 plates atop 4 thick slices of a polenta boule from She Wolf Bakery that had been toasted on a wonderful no-bread-is-ever-too-thick-for-itCamp-A-Toaster’ [see this post], garnished with micro scallion from Two Guys from Woodbridge
  • the wine was a California (Suisun Valley and Sonoma) rosé, Evangelos Bagias California Rosé of Pinot Noir 2017, from Naked Wines
  • the music was Handel’s 1711 opera, ‘Rinaldo’, his first for London, and the first opera in Italian to be written specifically for the London stage, René Jacobs conducting the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra [note: it was performed regularly in London for 6 years, and once again in 1731, in a revised version, but there were no more performances for over 200 years; an indifference visited on most every opera of the time, suggesting that 18th-century opera audiences were once more interested in new music than they are today]