over smoky potatoes
serves 2 to 4
Start the potatoes, then finish the dish by cracking the eggs over them and finishing them in the oven or on top of the stove.
That smoky Spanish pimentón does wonders for foods that might otherwise be cooked with sausage, such as these eggs and potatoes, inspired by a recipe in Marie Simmons’s book The Good Egg
. While you can finish the eggs on the stove, I think it makes an especially handsome presentation if you transfer the potatoes to a shallow-sided earthernware gratin dish, bake the eggs in the oven, and bring the whole, gorgeous dish to the table. This recipe is as easy to make for one as it is for a crowd.
A bit intense for an early-morning breakfast perhaps, these lusty eggs are great for supper at any time of year. In summer I’d serve them with sautéed peppers and in winter with a lively salad of cauliflower, green olives, and green peppers, ending with a cooling orange compote for dessert. For wine, stay with the Spanish influence and choose a Ribera del Duero for a red, or an Albariño for a white.
Start the potatoes, then finish the dish by cracking the eggs over them and finishing them in the oven or on top of the stove.approximately 2 pounds potatoes, any variety, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch dice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (pimentón), to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
4 scallions, including a few inches of the greens, thinly sliced
4 or more eggs
minced parsley to finish
1. If you’re using russet or baking potatoes, put them in cold water as you work to draw out some of the starch. Drain them and blot them dry before cooking.
2. Heat the oil in a large, well-seasoned cast-iron or nonstick skillet. Add the poatoes to the pan and cook over medium heat, turning them every so often so they brown on all sides. When they’re tender, after 15 minutes or so, season them with salt, toss them with the smoked paprika, garlic, and scallions, and cook for 1 minute more.
3. Break the eggs over the potatoes. You can add more as long as there is room for them. Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat until the whites are set, about 5 minutes, or longer, if you want the yolk to set as well. Sprinkle with the parsely and serve.
Or preheat the oven to 375°F and transfer the potatoes to a lightly oiled terra-cotta gratin dish. Break the eggs over them, then bake until set and as done as you like, 15 to 20 minutes. Garnish with the parsley and serve in their dish.Feta and Ricotta Cheese
There’s no crust, but you can’t argue with this handsome pie, which is rimmed with the black edge of the cast-iron skillet rather than with pastry. It’s excellent for those seeking protein-rich dishes, and it’s so quick to put together you’ll have to wait for your oven to heat up.
Serve this skillet pie in wedges with sides that match the season. In summer, look to roasted peppers plus a few olives; in spring, a shaved fennel salad; in winter, luscious braised black kale. This also makes a good appetizer, served, of course, in smaller portions, or part of a mezze plate (page 162). A lusty Zinfandel from Sonoma would partner well with the cheese.
3⁄4 pound feta cheese, preferably sheep’s milk
1 pound ricotta cheese
4 to 6 eggs
1⁄4 cup flour
3⁄4 cup milk
sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon chopped dill
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Mix three-quarters of the feta with the ricotta in a medium bowl, without worrying about getting it perfectly smooth–you’ll want some chunks. Beat the eggs into the cheese, then add the flour and milk. Season with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and dill.
2. Butter a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or an earthenware baking dish. Pour in the batter and crumble the remaining cheese over the top. Bake until golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with your chosen garnish.
Sautéed Heirloom Tomatoes
on garlic-rubbed toastserves 2
Here’s a tasty little supper for listless eaters on a hot night. For tomatoes I pick what’s in my garden, which is likely to be a mixture of ripe red Sweet 100s, orange Sun Golds, Green Zebras, and a yellow heirloom or two. These briefly cooked tomatoes, caught just at the moment between fresh and stewed, make an excellent addition to countless summer dishes. This recipe is vegan.
You might flesh out this meal by starting with a chilled soup. It could be a yogurt soup with rice and spinach or a tomato soup (stay with tomatoes if they’re good). Add a simple salad and a few nibbles, such as roasted almonds, and end with a glorious fig tart. Chianti Classico and other simple northern Italian reds like Dolcetto from the Piedmont or Valpolicella from Verona are classic with tomatoes. If you prefer a white, try a New World Sauvignon Blanc, especially if you add the capers.
Have your tomatoes marinating an hour ahead of time, or just before, if that’s what works best. Make the toast, heat the tomatoes, put them together, and you’re done.2 heaping cups sliced, quartered, or diced tomatoes, assorted kinds and colors
1 shallot, finely diced
1 large garlic clove, 1⁄2 minced
3 basil leaves, slivered
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large pieces ciabatta, semolina, or other rustic bread
a few drops of balsamic vinegar
1. Toss the tomatoes with the shallot, minced garlic, basil, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Set aside until you’re ready to eat.
2. Grill or toast the bread. Rub it with the other 1⁄2 clove of garlic.
3. Heat a medium skillet. When hot, add the tomatoes. Swirl the pan around to warm them through, add a few drops balsamic vinegar and some pepper, then spoon onto the toast and serve. They should just warm up and release their juices, not fall apart.
• Spread ricotta thickly over the toast, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with oil, and warm it in a toaster oven before adding the tomatoes.
• Sear thin slices of tofu (page 95), deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar, then put on toast and cover with the tomatoes.
• Spoon the tomatoes over ravioli.
• Serve them with the Ricotta Omelet on page 124 or the Zucchini Skillet Cakes on page 82.From the Hardcover edition.
Excerpted from Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen by Deborah Madison. Copyright © 2005 by Deborah Madison. Excerpted by permission of Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.