One of the first cookbooks I owned was Ina Garten’s Barefoot in Paris. I was easily sold on the beautiful, simple food, and even more easily sold on all the book’s talk of Paris. It was right around the time that I came home from a semester in Paris and was sold on the idea that every lunch should take place in a cozy café and consist of a plain omelet with a green salad and crusty bread.
I’ve bookmarked and made a number of recipes in that cookbook, and yet I somehow never came back to one of the very first recipes that caught my eye. These herbed baked eggs are almost too simple to be called a recipe, but in true Ina Garten form, the details count. They remind me of everything I loved about eggs in Paris – particularly those that are cooked well and combined with a few delicious additions.
With Easter week upon us and brunches and breakfasts on the brain, I found myself flipping back through the book to find this recipe. It’s not at all complicated, but the splash of cream and a bit of butter make the eggs creamy and rich. These baked eggs come out of the oven hot and bubbly and slightly fragrant with the herbs and garlic. With crusty bread for dipping, it’s a great breakfast or brunch, but I’d take it for lunch any day as well.
It took about ten years to get around to making it, but it was well worth the wait.
- ¼ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- ½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
- 8 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Toasted French bread or brioche, for serving
- Preheat the broiler for 5 minutes and place the oven rack 6 inches below the heat.
- Combine the garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and Parmesan and set aside. Carefully crack 2 eggs into each of 4 small bowls or teacups (you won't be baking them in these) without breaking the yolks.
- Place 4 individual gratin dishes or ramekins on a baking sheet. Place ½ tablespoon of cream and ½ tablespoon of butter in each dish and place under the broiler for about 3 minutes, until hot and bubbly. Quickly, but carefully, pour 2 eggs into each gratin dish and sprinkle evenly with the herb mixture, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place back under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes, until the whites of the eggs are almost cooked. (The eggs will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven.) Serve immediately with toasted bread.