Shirred Duck Eggs with Summer Herb Pesto and Toast

Shirred eggs are simply eggs baked in individual servings, which makes them an ideal choice for brunch.

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.