I just love these skillet eggs. They are quick and easy, full of veggies and – in my opinion, anyway – are just as good for dinner as they are for breakfast.
I saw this on TV once. How long ago I saw this on TV is probably unimportant since I haven’t watched someone cook on television since my son was born. He’s almost 7 now, and I’m fairly certain that TV cooking has changed since then. There was a time when I could learn things from cooking shows, but now cooking television has morphed into just watching people eat. For me personally, since I live with 3 others, I can watch people eat anytime I want. I don’t need to watch that on TV.
Again, this is all unimportant. The point is, when I saw this on TV, the eggs were poached in a spicy tomato sauce. I love spicy, but I have kids with built-in spice detectors. They can detect the slightest bit of chili pepper. Minute! So if I must feed them too, I had to tame this dish.
Fortunately, or unfortunately if you really love spicy, eggs poached in tomatoes works just as well with not so fiery tomatoes. I’ve added spinach because spinach goes so well with eggs and tomatoes. They were made to be together. This is good stuff. Serve with buttered toast, a good hearty crusty bread is best (not breakfast toast bread but something that doesn’t come pre-sliced).
Don’t tell the kids, but I still added a bit of spice. I’m addicted to this chili salt. You could completely omit the spice if you wanted to. But I think dishes like this need a little bit of heat to add an extra layer of flavour. This is not enough to make the dish spicy hot. At least not to my standards. A few bites in my son accused me of adding something spicy, which I fully denied. Denied. As a parent it is my duty to develop my kids taste buds – right?
I usually have everything on hand for this meal – extra canned tomatoes in the pantry, fresh spinach, some basil leaves, a little good quality cheese and of course, eggs. I like the texture of diced tomatoes versus just sauce. Chunky works with the spinach. I highly recommend adding a can of fire-roasted tomatoes to the mix, they add a rich and smoky flavour. If you can’t find them, a small can of any other diced tomato will work, or even an unflavoured tomato purée.
Havarti cheese just happened to be the best of what I had on hand at the time. Havarti is sweet and creamy and melts into the tomatoes, adding richness to the sauce. If you don’t have havarti, fontina, parm, or even just mozzarella will work. Or skip the cheese altogether.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon chili salt, or salt with a pinch of cayenne
- 28oz can diced tomatoes
- 14 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 5 oz of spinach (about 6 packed cups, or half of a large box)
- 8-10 basil leaves
- 2-3 scallions, finely sliced
- 5-6 eggs (depending on size of skillet)
- 1 oz grated harvartti cheese
- fresh black pepper, fresh basil and sliced scallions for garinsh
- Warm the olive oil in a large skillet with a lid, add the garlic and tomatoes and salt. Let the tomatoes come to simmer and simmer gently for about 10-12 minutes to allow the sauce to reduce slightly. Stir in the spinach, turning it into the tomatoes so it wilts, about 5 minutes.Stir in the basil and scallions.
- Using a spoon, push the tomatoes and spinach around to make wells in the pan. Gently crack an egg into each hole. I can get about 6 eggs in my skillet, you may get more or less depending on how big your pan is. Give each of the eggs a bit of room or you will end up with a solid mass.
- Keep the pan on a low simmer and cover. Simmer for about 5 minutes, add a minute if you like a firmer egg. We prefer "dipping eggs" so I go about 5 minutes then let the eggs sit for a few minutes before serving.