In her teens, Top Chef judge Gail Simmons spent a summer on a kibbutz in Israel, working in her first professional kitchen. She was assigned to breakfast duty and fell in love with scrambling, poaching and frying eggs by the dozens. “Today, one of my go-to brunches is baked eggs in a cherry tomato–pepper mix seasoned with the Mediterranean spice blend za’atar,” she says. “It never fails to conjure happy memories of that magical time.”
Slideshow:More Baked Egg Recipes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 pints cherry tomatoes
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons za’atar, plus more for garnish
4 large eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded English cucumber
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon sumac
2 teaspoons finely chopped mint
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until some of them burst, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are softened and all of the tomatoes have burst, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in ¼ cup of the parsley and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the za’atar. Season the tomato sauce with salt and pepper.
Using a spoon, make 4 wells in the tomato sauce, then crack an egg into each one; season with salt and pepper. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the egg whites are just set and the yolks are still runny.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the yogurt with the cucumber, the 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, the sumac, mint and the remaining 2 teaspoons of parsley and 1/2 teaspoon of za’atar. Season with salt and garnish with za’atar. Drizzle the eggs with olive oil and garnish with parsley. Drizzle the tomato sauce with lemon juice. Serve with the cucumber yogurt.
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