Mina Holland's Baked Eggs with Sage, Cinnamon, and Arugula

By • August 7, 2015 1 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe comes from editor of the Guardian’s Cook magazine and author of The World on a Plate, Mina Holland.

"I suppose this is a take on Israeli (or, more accurately, originally Egyptian) shakshuka, but I've bastardized it so much that I wouldn't make any claims to authenticity. So baked eggs it is, a less pleasingly-rhythmic but nevertheless accurate moniker! I could, and do, eat this at any time of day and am convinced it convert even the greatest cynic to tomato sauce at breakfast."
The Curious Pear

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Serves 2 to 4

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 onions sliced into very thin half-moons
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 lemon, for squeezing
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1 heaping teaspoon harissa
  • Two 400-gram cans good-quality tomatoes (like San Marzano)
  • Tomato paste, for squirting
  • 8 sage leaves, divided
  • Salt and pepper, for seasoning
  • 4 eggs
  • 70 grams arugula
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt, for serving
  • Toasted sourdough, for serving
  1. You will need a good sauté pan for this—as wide as a 12-inch frying pan but with good depth. Pour in the and place on the stove over medium-low. Add the onions, a sprinkle of the cinnamon, and a squeeze of lemon juice and sweat together for 10 minutes.
  2. Next, add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes before adding the harissa. Cook for a minute or so, and then pour in tomatoes. If you have bought whole ones (which are generally superior to the chopped kind), then break these up to create a chopped tomato sauce consistency. Add a squirt of tomato paste, 3 of the sage leaves, most of the rest of the cinnamon, another 2 tablespoons olive oil, and season well with salt and pepper. Leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Take a small frying pan and add a drop of oil and the rest of the sage leaves. After a minute or so, add the arugula and wilt it down, adding a touch of salt as you go.
  4. Taste the sauce and adjust it to your preference (add salt, pepper, lemon, or tomato paste—or if you'd like more spice, a touch of harissa). Some of the water from the tomatoes will have evaporated and you'll be able to form little wells in the sauce, which almost holds. Create 4 of these and quickly crack in the eggs. Crackle a little sea salt and grind some pepper onto each, half cover the pan, and let simmer. Now is the time to use your instincts. You want the egg white just to have converted from clear to white—time this well and you'll still have beautiful runny egg yolks.
  5. Remove the eggs in sauce from the heat and then take the wilted arugula and distribute it over the eggs. Find the whole sage leaves and place them on top too, prettily. Dollop the yogurt on top, shake the last of the olive oil over, grind on some pepper, and a sprinkle of cinnamon, and serve immediately, with sourdough toast.

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