Eggs Baked in Avocado is as easy and foolproof a brunch as you’re likely to find, unless your local patissière delivers bags of warm fresh-baked croissants. If you happen to come into some warm croissants or decent bread to serve with the eggs and avocados, all the better. Baked avocadoes are delicious, but it’s hardly surprising most people have never eaten one, not when a ripe avocado is so good with just a squeeze of lime and a bit of salt. A baked avocado has a rich, deep flavor that loves complimentary fat, like an egg yolk or cream, or the acidic contrast of a salad. As we were pulling the elements of this post together I suggested topping the eggs with a spoonful of crème fraîche and calling it a day. Not Jody. The rule in our house is, once you open an avocado, you eat it–or you make sure someone else does–that same day, so just setting aside the cup of avocado flesh leftover from making a bit of room for the eggs was completely unacceptable. You’re the lucky beneficiaries – you get eggs baked in avocados, served with a spicy avocado salad and crème fraîche.
Crème fraîche (or sour cream) melts rather quickly once you place it on something warm. That’s why the serrano pepper slices in my photos resemble Tibetan monks staggering through spring snow drifts. Dollop just before serving. Also, we portioned this for eight–one egg and a half-avocado per person. They’re quite rich, especially if you happen to have some brioche toast at hand to mop up any juices. But we also know that while a pint of ice cream serves four, some people find that inadequate. Use your own judgement. Enjoy. Ken
EGGS BAKED IN AVOCADO
Makes 8 servings
- 1½-2 cups Kosher salt+ additional for seasoning
- 4 large ripe avocados
- 1 lime
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 red or yellow pepper, peeled and finely diced
- 1 hot serrano or jalapeno pepper, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced jicama
- 2 scallions, very thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 3-4 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
- 8 cilantro sprigs
- 8 Bibb lettuce leaves
- Preheat oven to 425ºF.
- In a large shallow baking dish, make 8 evenly spaced mounds of salt.
- Cut the avocados in half. Remove the seeds and scoop out about 1.5 tablespoons of avocado from each half to make room for the eggs. Save the scooped avocado. Set the halves on the mounds of salt.
- Juice the lime into a bowl. Brush the avocados with lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Pour the remaining juice over the scooped avocado.
- Break an egg into a teacup. Pour into the avocado. Some of the white may overflow. Don’t worry about it.
- Cover with foil and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. Check to see if they’re done. If the whites still haven’t set, return them to the oven, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until the whites have just set.
- While the eggs are baking, add the garlic, ginger, peppers, jicama, scallions and chopped cilantro to the scooped avocado and mix together. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Serve the eggs with a dollop of sour cream or crème fraîche. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, hot pepper slices and the salad in a lettuce leaf on the side.
Last weekend, after a 40 mile ride, I stopped at Ride Studio Cafe for a quick cortado and ended up flipping through a little cookbook sitting on the counter, The Culinary Cyclist by Anna Brones. The recipe that caught my eye was for eggs baked in avocado. Why hadn’t I thought of this? I googled eggs in avocado and found out that it was a pretty common idea that hit cyberspace over a year ago. Where had I been? Check out her book. It’s lovely.
Although the steps are simple, baking eggs evenly relies on a bit of chance–and a bit of attention–since each sits differently in the avocado and each of the avocados is far from identical. As you can see from the pictures, some of the yolks float directly atop the white, while others are covered by a thin film of white. When I run into something like this, I take comfort in the Navajo practice of intentionally weaving an imperfection into the corner of each rug to provide a place “where the Spirit moves in and out of the rug”. And cooks your eggs.