Baked Egg with Zucchini and Ham

A few months ago I picked up Judith Jones' delightful book "The Pleasures of Cooking for One." This is less of a cookbook than a guide to cooking. Her philosophy is to use what you have on hand rather that build a list of ingredients for a recipe. I've had a lot of fun with it.

One recipe I've greatly enjoyed is for baked eggs. It's a simple idea, create a bed of some sauted vegetable in a gratin dish, crack an egg on top and bake until the egg is complete.

The beauty of it is once you get the hang of the process, you can substitute pretty much whatever you've got on hand to make it work.

Here's the current version I'm enjoying.

Ingredients

  • One medium sized zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • One scallion, diced
  • 3 mushrooms, chopped
  • One clove garlic, diced
  • 2 or 3 ounces finely chopped ham
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • One large egg
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grate the zucchini and add a teaspoon of salt and place in a strainer. Let sit for half an hour and then press as much juice as possible out. (I have been putting it in the fridge overnight and then pressing the juice in the morning). Set aside.

Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the scallions and mushrooms and saute about a minute. Add the garlic and saute until aromatic as well, about 20 seconds. Add the zucchini, ham and freshly cracked pepper and saute until slightly softened, two or three minutes, and add the cream and cook five minutes.

Place the zucchini mixture in a gratin dish that has been oiled. Create a concave depression and carefully crack the egg into it so the yolk slides to the middle. Put in the oven and cook until the egg sets, 15-20 minutes.

Remove from the oven. Let cool five minutes. Add salt pepper and serve.