This dish makes a wonderful breakfast, lunch or supper. We often make it on a relaxed weekend for brunch with the family. There is something kind of fun when you get the terracotta dishes out, as they seem to warm the heart. You can vary the mushrooms depending on what's in season at the markets, it doesn't really matter as long as they are the champions of the dish.
2 tbsp olive oil
6 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic
800g of chestnut, brown or button mushrooms cleaned and chopped
3 sprigs tarragon or parsley, leaves chopped (extra sprig for serving)
4 large tbsp goats cheese or creme fraiche
8 eggs (2 per serve)
120 g baby spinach
Tomato sauce (pre-made pasta sauce, like Puttanesca)
Salt and pepper
White truffle oil (optional, but awesome with mushrooms)
1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/and preheat the ramekins (about 12cm diameter). I cook this on the grill setting.
2 Heat the oil in the pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook gently for a couple of minutes to soften, stirring regularly to avoid burning.
3 Add the mushrooms, turn the heat up and fry the mushrooms so that they get a bit of colour. Continue cooking, moving so they cook evenly, until they start to soften and the liquid evaporates this evaporate. Add salt, pepper and tarragon or parsley to taste. Remove from the heat and set aside.
4 Wash and strain the spinach and toss it in a pan for about 1 minute on medium heat until it wilts. Remove from the pan, make sure the water is squeezed out of it.
5 Divide the mushrooms between the 4 ramekins filling 3/4 of the base. Add the tomato sauce to the final 1/4 of the base of the dish. Add chilli to this if you want it to be spicy, which I prefer. Carefully place the spinach on top, and spoon in the goat’s cheese. Make a dip in the centre of each ramekin and crack the eggs in, being careful not to break the yolks. Place the ramekins in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the white is cooked but the yolk is still runny. Best to keep a watchful eye on it and make the toast at the same time.
6 Remove from the oven, and season with salt and pepper, and add a dash of the truffle oil and a sprig of parsley….and voilà - serve straight away with toast for dipping in the egg. You could add a side salad as well if you wish. Enjoy!!