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Recipe

Creamy Baked Eggs with Olives and Crispy Focaccia Crumbs

Servings: 4

The simplicity of this baked dish lets the flavor of good-quality eggs shine. A sprinkle of meaty Castelvetrano olives and Parmesan cheese adds a salty hit to counter the cream and eggs’ richness. Focaccia breadcrumbs fried in olive oil give the gratin texture. Any leftover focaccia can be toasted and served on the side for mopping up the flavorful sauce.

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 3 oz. focaccia, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 large chicken eggs
  • 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup pitted Castelvetrano olives, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Toasted focaccia, cut into 4-inch long sticks (optional)

Preparation

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 375°F. Place four 2-cup gratin dishes on a rimmed baking sheet and spray moderately with cooking spray. Set aside.

Pulse the focaccia in a food processor into coarse crumbs. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the focaccia crumbs, thyme, pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bread crumbs are golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Carefully crack 2 eggs into each grain dish. Spoon 3 Tbs. of cream around the eggs in each dish. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the olives and cheese evenly among the dishes. Bake, rotating baking sheet once halfway through cooking time, until the egg whites are set, and the yolks are slightly runny, 11 to 13 minutes. To check for doneness, poke the whites closest to the yolks. They should be just set; do not over-bake or the yolks will be medium instead of runny.

Sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs evenly over the gratins, and serve with the focaccia strips, if using.

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