Provençal Roasted Vegetables with Poached Eggs
You know you're in pretty deep as a food blogger, a chef, or just a food lover in general when as you're trying to fall asleep at night, your mind is constantly mixing together ingredients and you come up with dishes that sound so good, it's as if you could taste them right then and there. Well, that's exactly where this recipe came from. A few nights ago as I was trying to fall asleep, I remembered I had asparagus in the fridge, and even though I knew I was planning on using it with my next night's dinner, I made up a whole breakfast meal using it anyway. I remembered a trip to Italy I took last Summer. My first night there, I was in Florence, and I went to a tiny little restaurant just behind Palazzo Pitti. It didn't look like anything special, except for the "free wifi" sign in the window, which after a six hour flight to Düsseldorf, a three hour layover, and then another hour and a half flight to Florence (all with no internet connectivity/cell service––or sleep) was calling out directly to me and the group I was traveling with. The menu was completely in Italian, obviously, but coming from an Italian family and frequenting our local Italian restaurant at home, I thought I knew a good amount of Italian terms––at least the ones pertaining to food. Boy, was I wrong. The only words I could pick out were gnocchi and pomodoro––thankfully within the same meal, and in my mind, I believed I had just ordered gnocchi with tomato sauce. You could only imagine the confusion when they put my plate in front of me––a bowl of asparagus tips and diced tomatoes in olive oil with a little bit of gnocchi mixed in. Oh well, that's what I get for checking my email and Twitter with my first moments of internet connection instead of Google translating my menu. Despite the mix-up, my meal was delicious. I'd never been a huge fan of asparagus, I'd eaten it when my parents made it, but I never went out of my way to have it. And tomatoes? I was 100% not a fan of tomatoes, that is, until I had them in that gnocchi dish. Fresh, extremely ripe, and an almost unbelievable shade of deep red, these tomatoes were unlike anything I'd ever tasted before, they literally melted in my mouth! Since then, I've tried to eat tomatoes more, but the only kinds that even come close to what I ate in Italy are the ones that come straight from the garden and are ripened on the vine––not in a crate, pumped full of a gas that ripens them artificially, because that's just gross. Since homegrown tomatoes aren't really ready until mid-July, I bought a few at Whole Foods to hold me over. I've had these tomatoes ripening in my kitchen for a few days now, as I patiently wait for my vegetable garden, and I thought, why not have them with breakfast? Roasting the asparagus, covered by tomatoes and only a little bit of olive oil drizzled over allows for the juices and natural flavors of the tomatoes to seep down into the asparagus as they bake and become soft. When the vegetables are then broiled, the asparagus crisps up slightly on the outside but holds in all of that tasty tomato flavor! I served these with poached eggs and called it breakfast, but this could definitely be made sans eggs and served as a side dish!
French Roasted Vegetables with Poached Eggs
Prep Time: 5 min Cook Time: 16 min Total Time: 21 min Serves: 4
2 medium bunches of asparagus
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp rosemary*
1 tsp thyme*
1 tsp marjoram*
1 tsp savory*
salt and pepper to taste
*Use ¾ tsp each if using fresh herbs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut off the bottom inch of your asparagus and spread out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle diced tomatoes over you layer of asparagus. In a small bowl, mix together all herbs. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle the herb mixture evenly on top.
Bake for 11 minutes, then switch your oven to broil and set it to high. Leave your pan where it is in the oven, you don’t need to move it closer to the broiler. Broil for 5 minutes and remove from oven.
While the vegetable are cooking, poach your eggs. I use these egg poachers. Hook the egg poachers onto the rim of a small saucepan or pot, fill water up just to the edge of the poaching cup that is closest to the center of the pot. Bring the water to a simmer, then slightly reduce the heat. Add a splash of white vinegar to the water and pour one egg into each cup. Cook for 7-9 minutes, until the whites are solidified (or close to it). Drain water and remove eggs from pot.
Serve the poached eggs over a bed of your roasted vegetables straight out of the oven and enjoy!