Back when entertaining was a more common occurrence, I loved putting together brunches for my friends and family. I would typically go all out and decide on 4-6 small plates, a charcuterie board, and cocktails. Often, I would find myself in a rush to finish before guests arrived because I was so ambitious with my menu. So, in taking that into account, I’ve adjusted some staple dishes that help make things simple and allow multi-tasking when entertaining. That’s what I’ve included for you here. It feeds a big group, it’s a crowd pleaser, it’s veggie and it showcases a beautiful soft-baked egg. This is also just a solid dish to make that’s easy for families on the go to grab something tasty and nutritious. Enjoy!

Prep Time:  20 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Yields: 6-12 Servings

Ingredients (bold ingredients found in your Fresh Box this week):

  • 12 Eggs (whole)
  • 4 cloves of Garlic (small rough chop)
  • 2 (small dice) Yellow Onions
  • ½ Pint (approx. 8 pieces) Baby Bella Mushrooms (remove stem & quarter)
  • 4 cups fresh Spinach Leaves (chiffonade)
  • 1 can (in water) of Artichoke Hearts (small dice)
  • 1 cup (shredded) Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 2-4 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 4 leaves of Sage (julienned)
  • 1 Prepared Pie Crust (store-bought or homemade) – cut into 3-inch circles
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1 TSP Black Pepper

Instructions for preparing your cupcake wells:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Be sure to let your pre-made pie crust relax outside of the refrigerator before unrolling and then stretching it. (I had an extra pie crust leftover from my quiche adventures – when you purchase pre-made pie dough, it typically comes in twos)
  3. Stretch out your dough very thin and with a small cup, ramekin, or mason jar rim, cut out 12, 3-inch rounds.
  4. Shape the rounds into the bottom of each cupcake well and pull the dough gently up the sides of the well – the dough should be about 1/3 of the way up the side. (picture below)
  5. Put the prepared cupcake pan into the fridge to hang out while you prepare the filling. (This will help the crust be crispy when it’s baked)
  6. While you are in the fridge, pull out one dozen eggs and set them on the counter to knock off some of the chill and get them closer to room temperature.

Instructions for preparing your filling:

  1. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat.
  2. Add chopped garlic and diced onions and cook until you smell the garlic start to cook.
  3. Add the quartered mushroom pieces and season with salt & pepper. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Let these cook for a while (5 minutes) stirring every now and then. If you cook them until browned and crispy that will help give the filling a hearty, chewy texture.
  4. Add chopped artichokes and fresh spinach chiffonade (which is essentially shredded spinach). Let cook for a few minutes and then add the julienned sage leaves.
  5. Cook all together until the flavors have had a chance to blend. Add more salt and pepper if necessary. (Always try to taste your food as you go. It matters that each step or level of your meal is seasoned well) Put to the side to allow the filling to cool. You can go ahead and shred your cheddar cheese at this point while waiting on everything to blend together.

Instructions for assembly:

  1. Take your cupcake pan out of the refrigerator. Sprinkle the bottom of each well with a small pinch of shredded cheddar cheese.
  2. Once the filling has cooled, put a heaping TBSP of the filling into each cupcake well (it’s okay if it’s over the sides of the dough a little bit).
  3. Crack one whole egg into each well (you can also do this with just egg whites if you prefer).
  4. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Put pan on a baking sheet (just in case there’s any run over from your filling and eggs – Luckily I didn’t have any, but just in case because who wants to scrape burnt food off the bottom of their oven? Not me!).
  5. Put your pan into the preheated oven (350 degrees) and set your timer for 15 minutes. Check the eggs – they should be opaque, and the yellow should start to look cooked with a transparent film forming on top. You will likely need to reset your timer for another 5-10 minutes. (Checking them frequently is the point – you want the gooey center of a soft-baked egg and there’s a fine line between that consistency and a full baked yolk). Also remember that egg continues to cook, even after it’s removed from the heat.
  6. Remove from oven, let sit for a couple minutes and then serve warm with hot sauce, steak sauce or even a sweet chili sauce. (If you are putting this together for a shared meal like brunch, arrange cups on a tray of fresh arugula and put sauce options into small ramekins so your guests/family have options)

In review of this recipe, I might have also added some fresh grated Romano or Parmesan cheese to finish. Also, because this little cup of goodness is dense and rich, a quick side salad with lettuce and tomato from your Fresh Box, a little oil and vinegar, salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon if you have it, provides a nice compliment and contrast of acidity to the dish. Yum!

One more thing to note – this recipe is easy to split if you only want to make 6 cups. I’ve found that it’s best to make 12 because some people can eat 2 in one sitting and if you have leftovers, they store and reheat well. The egg does cook to a hard yolk on the reheat, but it’s still tasty! Maybe add a pinch of salt and grind of pepper? I also tend to grab cold leftovers if I’m on the go, and I can tell you from personal experience, these are even good cold with a little sweet chili sauce…