Sunday, October 09, 2011

Eggs Poached in Summer Squash Saute

A few weeks ago, I was trying to help a friend come up with some quick and easy dinner plans. She was swamped at work, her husband was out of town, and her two young kids needed the usual amount of attention. I asked what she'd been cooking lately. She listed a handful of dishes, nothing fancy but certainly nothing to sniff at. Also, she admitted with some level of embarrassment, they'd been having a lot of breakfast for dinner.

There always seems be some shame in having breakfast for dinner. Every time someone scrambles up an egg, or plops some pancake batter on the griddle, there's an accompanying feeling of not being a Proper Adult. PA's clearly know the difference between breakfast and dinner, and feed their family the appropriate meal for the hour (and also never, say, get past-due notices for their forgotten health insurance co-pays). But I argue that we should let go of those prejudices. Pancakes, eggs and the like make wonderful dinners. As long as you do them up right.

As I've mentioned before, I'm a big fan of poaching eggs in a sauce. They absorb flavor, the whole mess is deliciously fun to sweep up with a piece of bread (or tuck inside or tortilla), and, most importantly, it's just really easy. This dish is no exception. Taking inspiration from a blog post I read a few months back, I cooked up a saucy saute of onions, fresh tomatoes, grated summer squash, and fresh basil. Then I made a few divots, cracked in some eggs, and covered and cooked til they were set to my liking. Add a slice of crusty flatbread, and it's perfect. A delicious, one-pot, near insta-meal, with a healthy helping of vegetables. Where's the shame in that? Breakfast for dinner, you do not disappoint.

And, if breakfast for dinner isn't your thing, I present an article I wrote on the flip side: dinner for breakfast. You can check it out in The Oregonian.

Eggs Poached in Summer Squash Saute

inspired by The Kitchn, but tweaked to my taste/groceries
serves 2

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped in a fine dice
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 summer squash, grated on the coarse holes of a grater
1 handful fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper
4 eggs
crusty bread or flatbread, for serving

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the onions and a sprinkling of salt, and cook until softened but not colored, ~7 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for a few more minutes. Add the tomatoes, squash and basil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and get saucy, and the squash is tender, ~10 minutes. The mixture should give off a lot of liquid, which is what you want (it will absorb/cook off when you cook the eggs). Add salt and pepper to taste. Make 4 divots in the mixture with the back of a spoon, and crack an egg into each divot. Cover, and let cook until the eggs are set to your liking. Top the eggs with a bit of additional salt and pepper, and serve with bread.


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