I love kale, but I've been particularly crazy for them this season. For the past few weeks, I've been eating kale non-stop—in salads and in soups; roasted as chips or simply sauteed. And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, it did. All thanks to a perfectly cooked egg on top.
I've made this dish of Broiled Eggs with Kale and Roasted Kabocha several times now. You get the crunchy bits from some of the charred kale bits, and then the creaminess of the egg yolk. The saltiness of the cheese and the sweetness of the kabocha. It's a fantastic vegetarian brunch option, but also lovely as a light dinner entree. It tastes so fresh and doesn't weigh your stomach down, yet it's a surprisingly hearty dish that won't leave you famished an hour later.
If you want some meat in there, you can always fry up some chopped bacon before you add the kale. The kabocha can easily be substituted with roasted butternut squash, or leftover roasted or boiled potatoes or sweet potatoes. Parmiggiano-reggiano is always a classic, but use your favourite cheese—I love me some Monforte toscano or some crumbled goat cheese. Cook the eggs to your liking—I always love my eggs on the runny side so that it sort of creates a little sauce of its own. With my oven and setting (rack in the centre), four minutes is perfect, but adjust to your own preference and oven settings.
Broiled Eggs with Kale and Roasted Kabocha
Adapted from In Praise of Leftovers
Several handfuls kale, washed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
8 to 10 slices roasted kabocha (about 1/2 small kabocha)
2 tablespoons finely chopped herbs, like parsley, thyme, etc. (optional)
Cheese of your choice (parmiggiano-reggiano, goat cheese, feta, sharp cheddar, etc.)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 large eggs
Turn the broiler on.
Heat some olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and chilli flakes, if using, and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped kale and cook until half-wilted, about a minute and a half to 2 minutes (do it in two batches if the kale overflows your pan). Season the kale with a little salt and pepper.
Top the kale with the roasted kabocha slices, and sprinkle over the herbs, if using. Crack the eggs over the kale and kabocha, and grate or crumble your cheese of choice on top. Season some more, if needed. Cook the eggs until the bottom just begins to set, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Transfer your pan to the oven, under your broiler. Broil until everything is bubbling and the eggs are cooked to your liking (4 minutes gets me the perfect runny egg). Remove from the oven, squeeze over a little bit of lemon juice, and serve immediately. Enjoy (preferably with some toast)!