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Author Notes: There was a flat of eggs in the fridge and a basket of vine ripened tomatoes on the counter when I walked into the kitchen to throw together a quick, light lunch for friends. The tomatoes set me on a tomates farcies path, which in France are usually stuffed with ground sausage meat; the eggs sent me into brunch mode and made me think of coddled or baked eggs. It wasn't a hard leap to take the best of both worlds. Coddled eggs are by definition slow cooked in liquid and usually baked in ramekins with added milk. My thought was that using a tomato instead of a ramekin would provide the necessary liquid and I was pretty happy with the outcome. I went veggie, using no meat, but you could totally add some chair à saucisse if you're in a meaty mood.
This "recipe" can be tailored for as many people you're feeding and played with for variations. You'll need as many tomatoes as you have people plus a few extra if you've got big eaters or small tomatoes, and 1 egg per tomato. You could add garlic; it would perfume the onions and tomatoes beautifully. And Mozzarella or Burrata in place of the chèvre would be equally yum. —rachelRS
olive oil, crunchy or flakey salt, freshly ground pepper
Chèvre such as cabécou or a buche
- Peel then halve the onion lengthwise. Thinly slice crosswise and toss in a bowl with (garlic slices if you fancy) olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to ceramic or glass baking dish and spread in even/one layer. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375℉.
- Rinse and dry tomatoes. Slice just enough off of the tops to reveal seeds. Scoop out the seeds and "ribs" reserve for another recipe if desired. Rub "cleaned" tomatoes inside and out with light coating of olive oil. Arrange in baking dish with onions; tomatoes can be close but don't over crowd.
- Lightly toss arugula with olive oil, salt and pepper. Stuff a few to a small-small bunch of leaves into prepped tomatoes and gently compact to create a "nest" for the eggs.
- Crack 1 egg into each tomato and sprinkle with salt.
- Slice chèvre if it's a bouche (log) or quarter if using a disc such as cabécou and set atop egg. Season with fresh pepper and drizzle with olive pile. Bake until whites are wet-set and tomatoes start to kind of wrinkle. If using Mozzerella or Burrata, drizzle with Balsamic pre-serving.