Shirred eggs are simply eggs baked in individual servings, which makes them an ideal choice for brunch: Just choose the number you need and start cooking. Here, I pair them with a pesto full of fresh summer herbs – think basil, parsley and mint. You can make the pesto ahead of time, and it’ll stay a lovely verdant green until you serve it. Pesto thickens as it chills, however, so bring it to room temperature before serving; should you forget (it happens to the best of us), stir in a little more olive oil to loosen it up.
Shirred Duck Eggs with Summer Herb Pesto and Toast Soldiers
Serves | 4 |
Summer Herb Pesto
- 1½ cups fresh parsley, loosely packed
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- ½ cup pine nuts, pan-toasted
- ¼ tsp chile flakes
- ½ cup olive oil
- kosher salt, to taste
Shirred Duck Eggs
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp fine brunoise shallot
- 4 Tbsp heavy cream
- 4 duck eggs
- 1½ oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- seeded whole grain bread, toasted and cut into long rectangles (“soldiers”), to serve
| Preparation – Summer Herb Pesto | Add herbs, garlic, pine nuts and chile flakes to the bowl of a food processor; pulse to break down into a thick paste. Turn motor on and slowly stream in olive oil. Once mixture is well blended, turn motor off; season with salt to taste. Set aside.
| Preparation – Shirred Duck Eggs | Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter four 4-oz ramekins. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add shallot; cook until softened, 2 minutes. Stir in cream and remove from heat; evenly divide mixture between ramekins. Carefully crack 1 duck egg into each ramekin. Divide goat cheese over top; season with salt and pepper. Bake until whites have just set and yolks are still runny, 15 to 16 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
| To Serve | Set one ramekin on each plate, top with summer herb pesto and serve with toast soldiers.