Turns out it was a horrible day for food photographing the day we made this. Rain. Lots and lots of it. Little rain, big rain, deluges and fine mists. It went on the entire day and left us with little to none of that natural light we need in my kitchen. Besides, the huge Concord grape vine blocks most of the light, so rainy days don’t really work well for us in terms of showing you how we do all this here at Full Fork Ahead.
On the other hand, what the rain did positively was enhance how awesome this dish tasted. It made a day like that feel, simply said, like warm, comforting yumminess in a dish. If you have to be inside on a mostly rain-sogged day, this is the kind of thing that will help pick you right back up.
You start off with some of the best things Summer has to offer: the freshest zucchini and yellow squashes, jalapeno, green scallions and flat-leaf parsley.
The squashes carry a lot of water – more than you’d think given how light they are. Almost any dish using them requires most of that water to be drained off. In this one you’ll grate the squash.
A word of warning: do NOT grate your fingers. It’s really easy to do. Squash is extremely easy to grate because it’s flesh isn’t at all tough. Before you know it you’re down to that last inch or so of flesh. And your flesh is very close to those little holes in your grater. I looked away for just a second as I continued to grate and – yep! – I sliced my finger but good. Use the same caution if you choose to use a mandolin slicer.
Anyway, after you grate the squash, you’ll toss it with some salt and then occasionally squeeze or press the squash with the back of a large spoon in a colander. You’ll be amazed at ow much water this gets rid of, but it’s worth it so that your final dish isn’t a soggy mess.
The scallions (aka green onions) are sauteed first (along with the jalapeno). Can I say, I just love these little things? The recipe calls for four of them, the white and light green parts thinly sliced, but I would use more next time. Their flavor gets muted sometimes when cooked down, but I’d also like more in the dish next time to enhance the overall texture.
Mmmmm, beautiful colors, right? Stir-frying the squash for a few minutes helps to further dry them out a bit more.
The eggs get introduced next. It wasn’t all together clear if the eggs needed to rest on the squash itself, but we realized that there wasn’t really enough squash for us to do this anyway, so we made the wells for the eggs as shown. Next time I will definitely use more squash – it was simply a delicious part of the recipe and I think anyone eating this would enjoy it enough as well to warrant doubling the squash.
Cheese is sprinkled on last – I mean, of course, right? Cheese just makes sense with this dish. We opted for sharp white cheddar, but folks on the spicier side of things would probably enjoy some kind of pepper jack instead.
Sis and I decided we didn’t want our eggs to be runny this time, so we baked the dish for fifteen minutes at 350 degrees and it was perfecto! Behold, the just-baked yummyness. It smelled awesome while cooking as well. If you’re making this for brunch, the smells will make everyone present a hungry panda.
This was another of those recipes that surprised us with how tasty and yummy it was. For once I was glad there was no need to pack some of it to send off to our parents or anyone else. I’m admitting to my greed with this one. It’s absolutely fabulous. I want some more right now!
What a great way to get in some of Summer’s best offerings together with a classic breakfast and brunch staple. Spice it up or play it down; either way, this is recipe is golden, I promise.
Skillet Eggs with Squash
Prep Time: 50 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Level: Easy Serves: 6
- 3 pounds (6 medium) summer squash and/or zucchini
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 cup grated pepper jack or sharp white cheddar cheese
Grate the squash into a colander using the large holes of a box grater (or use a food processor fitted with the shredding attachment). Toss with 1 tablespoon salt, then let drain in the sink, 30 to 40 minutes. Squeeze the squash to remove as much liquid as possible, or using the back of a large spoon, press the squash down to expel the water. Do this several times in that 30 to 40 minutes. Or, to save time, you could probably also place the squash between several paper towels or an old (but clean) kitchen towel and squeeze the water out that way.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Set aside 3 tablespoons scallion greens. Add the remaining scallions (white and green parts), the jalapeno, and salt to taste and cook until the scallions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the shredded squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the parsley, nutmeg, and pepper to taste. Cook until the mixture is slightly dry, about 1 more minute. Remove from the heat and let cool, 5 minutes.
Spread the squash evenly in the skillet. Make six 2 1/2-inch-wide indentations in the mixture with the back of a spoon; put 1/2 teaspoon butter in each one. One at a time, crack each egg into a small bowl and pour into an indentation. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the cheese.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the egg whites are set and the yolks are cooked to desired doneness, 10 to 15 minutes (we baked ours 15 minutes to fully set the yolks). Scatter the reserved scallion greens on top and garnish with more chopped parsley if desired.
Remember, be careful when grating so as not to hurt those fingers. Cuz – ouch.
Next time we’re using more squash. If this is to be the main dish for a brunch or breakfast, I think more squash would be appreciated. As is, our layer of squash was really no more than a quarter-inch thick or so. But this is a very easy recipe to double, and the extra grating won’t take much longer since squash are so easy to shred.
On the spiciness: jalapenos will vary greatly on heat level. You really never know when you’ll get a particularly hot one or very mild one. Ours was very mild. Next time I might add in either a half or whole jalapeno extra to hopefully kick it up a little. I’m not always tolerant of spicy dishes, but I think it could really enhance this particular dish a lot.
And if you don’t find that you can handle heat at all in your food, yes, you can just leave the jalapeno out all together, I don’t think you’d be missing much.
If your cookware is not oven-safe, just transfer the squash to a casserole dish and add the eggs in their wells, salt/pepper and cheese and bake it that way.
I’m also thinking about stirring in the shredded cheese with the cooked squash next time instead of just sprinkling it on, before adding the eggs. Something tells me this would give the dish a more pleasing appearance, and allow some of the squash to crisp up more in the oven.