Sometimes you just need a dinner where you don’t have to think too much. Sometimes you are cleaning out your fridge to make way for Moroccan taco meat that is simmering away in your crockpot. And sometimes these two needs collide. Here’s your answer!
Lately, we’ve been doing a lot of picnic dinners, or what you might call “snacking.” That’s sort of what happens when you’re running two small businesses (my husband Jason is a chiropractic physician and I have the bake shop). Spending time on the floor with customers, in the kitchen developing new recipes, or tweaking existing ones, talking to vendors to negotiate better pricing, and managing 29 (combined) employees can take their toll. Often, by the time we get home, we are completely spent and have no energy to put together a fancy—or really, even a basic—dinner. So Jason will sliced some of the assorted cheeses we keep, I’ll slice an apple and arrange salami and pistachios on a plate, and we’ll crack some fizzy water and eat our picnic dinner.
Last night, I felt inspired. Sure, it was 8 pm. But how long could eggs and portabello mushrooms take to make, right? Did I mention that while I have wonderful commercial equipment at the shop, I have old and barely functioning equipment at home? Our oven cooks 25-40 degrees cool. We only have one burner that functions on the gas range. But we rent our house, hoping to save up eventually and buy a place that actually has a dishwasher. Jason jokes that we have one, he just doesn’t want to do dishes everyday.
Anyway, back to the eggs. I had two gorgeous portabello mushroom caps in my fridge. I wiped them down with a damp paper towel to remove any dirt. Snapped off the cap and scraped out the gills to create a space for stuffing them, drizzeled them with olive oil, 25 year balsamic vinegar, and a dusting of salt and pepper, and put them in the oven to soften and cook.
After roasting for 25 minutes, the smell was heavenly! the mushroom was releasing it’s juices, and the balsamic was really getting in there and caramelizing, and it was almost 9pm and we were hungry. So yeah, I probably rushed it a bit.
The other night I was looking around on Pinterest (which, by the way, is a great way to lose track of 15 hours), and saw some delicious-looking Eggs in Purgatory. If you’ve never heard of this, it’s basically a ramekin of tomato sauce, with an egg cracked in the center and baked. There are variations on this, of course, but it looked delicious. And quick. And naturally gluten-free.
- 2 portabello mushroom caps
- 1 tablepoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce, divided
- 1/3 cup packed shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 eggs
- garlic salt
- field greens (optional)
- parsley for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375˚. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Gently wipe the skin with a damp (not wet) paper towel. Cut off the stem, and with a large spook, scrape out the gills. You can either chop this part up and saute it with some olive oil and add to the tomato sauce, or toss.
- Place the mushroom caps, gill side up on the baking pan and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle the balsamic vinegar over the mushroom caps and hit with a little salt and pepper (maybe 1/2 teaspoon of each).
- Bake the mushrooms until the juices start to leak out and the mushroom caps start to soften and shrivel a bit, about 25 minutes.
- Divide the tomato sauce between the two mushrooms, and sprinkle with half the cheese.
- Crack an egg into the center of each cap, sprinkle with more cheese, and garlic salt, and give a few (5-6) turns of the pepper grinder over the top.
- Bake until the egg is as set as you like it to be, about 5-12 minutes.
- Plate over salad greens and enjoy!
- This recipe scales up nicely. If you're cooking for a crowd, or you have more than 2 in your family, this recipe works really well, because it frees you up from active time in the kitchen.
- Other cheeses would work beautifully here. Just make sure you adjust the quantity of cheese, and salt levels if you use a saltier cheese, like mizithra, or ricotta salata. Or leave out the cheese entirely, and this meal because primal-friendly.