Eggs in Spicy Minted Tomato Sauce

Eggs simmered in spicy mint tomato sauce with toast.

One of our favorite things to do on weekends is to sleep in late, then get up and cook something delicious, make a pot of coffee, and have a nice, relaxed mid-day before we do anything serious. This weekend we were looking through recipes we wanted to try, and this just happened to only include ingredients we had already in the apartment, so we decided to give it a try. That was a good choice.

This dish is bright and spicy, with some smokiness from the smoked paprika, richness from the eggs, and goes perfectly with dense, toasted bread. Pile it on the toast and eat it like an open-faced sandwich, or serve it beside and dip the bread in. We basically followed this recipe from Food52.com, with the addition of smoked paprika. Serves 2 people with a nice, hearty breakfast – and if you only like a moderate amount of the tomato sauce, you may have enough left over to cook another egg or two in the next day.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • One 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • Spicy pepper sauce such as sriracha or tobasco
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Smoked paprika to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • Bread for serving

Directions

  1. In a deep-sided skillet or frying pan with a lid, heat butter and olive oil together over medium heat until hot.
  2. Sauté onions for about 5 minutes until they turn translucent and start to brown and caramelize a bit.
  3.  Add garlic and jalapeño and sauté for about another minute.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, hot sauce, bay leaf, and smoked paprika.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a steady simmer and let simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes until sauce thickens.
  6. Stir in the mint.
  7. Using a spoon or spatula, make four small depressions in the sauce, and crack your eggs right into those depressions.
  8. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and then cover the pan to cook the eggs until the whites are solid and the yolks are however you like them.
  9. Once the eggs are done, serve them up with sauce and bread, and dig in!

Spring Green Niçoise Salad

Niçoise salad with green beans, fresh peas, olives, tomatoes, boiled potatoes, boiled egg, capers and parsley. Mustard vinaigrette.

It’s not too often you find a meal as well balanced, or a salad so hearty and satisfying as a Niçoise Salad. It’s got leafy greens and beans, it’s got olives and tuna for some healthy fats, ascorbic acid (vitamin c) in the tomatoes, protein from the tuna and eggs, and a variety of good vitamins and minerals in the potatoes.

This is one hearty salad – we often eat salads as side-dishes in the U.S., but this one is easily a full meal by itself. Satisfying, with a variety of textures and flavors; some salty, some tangy, some savory, some fresh green – it is delicious and will fill you up.

You can vary the ingredients some – it often calls for anchovies, and sometimes just has a standard vinaigrette dressing, for instance. In this case, we used canned tuna, as our neighborhood fish market was out of tuna, but you could also get a small albacore tuna steak and pan-fry it until just done through. You can vary the dressing as well, adding more vinegar if you like it tart, less mustard if you want a lighter dressing, more sugar or even some honey if you want it a bit sweeter.

As always, play around with it and make it just how you like it.

Ingredients

  • Butter lettuce
  • Tuna
  • Eggs (1 per person)
  • Potatoes (2 small or 1 large per person)
  • Green beans
  • Fresh peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Olives (we used castelvetrano, traditional would be niçoise olives)
  • Capers
  • Parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 big pinch dry dill
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar

Directions

  • Wash and dry your lettuce, and arrange on serving plates or in bowls.
  • Trim your green beans.
  • Put a shallow pot of water on to boil, and fill a bowl with cold water and (preferably) ice cubes.
  • Once the water boils, blanch your green beans and peas (separately) for just about 1 minute, until they brighten in color, but don’t soften.
  • Scoop them out and place them in the bowl of cold water to chill and stop the cooking.
  • Pit the olives if you need to, and also cook the tuna if you need to.
  • Slice the tomatoes in half if using cherry tomatoes, or in chunks if using large tomatoes.
  • Arrange all the ingredients on top of the lettuce.
  • In a small jar with a lid, combine the olive oil, vinegar (3 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar), mustard, shallot, garlic, dill, salt, pepper and sugar. Put on the lid and shake well until all ingredients combine.
  • Taste the dressing and adjust ratios or seasoning as needed.
  • Pour dressing over the salads, and serve!