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Briám with Baked Eggs and Garlic Crostini

Briám with Baked Eggs and Garlic Crostini

Greek Breakfast Briám with Baked Eggs

This briám is a breakfast twist on a Greek classic, summer vegetables with eggs and Kasseri. Look for this Greek sheep and goat’s milk cheese in the cheese section at some markets, specialty stores, or online. If you like, you can roast the vegetables up to four hours ahead, place them in the baking dish, cover it with plastic wrap, and keep it at room temperature. When ready to serve, reheat the vegetables until hot before adding the cheese and eggs, then finish baking.

Briám with Baked Eggs and Garlic Crostini

Serves 6
Recipe by Shereen Pavlides

Total Cooking Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Active Cooking Time: 1 hour

BRIÁM

    • 1 eggplant (about 1¼ pound), peeled
    • Kosher salt 7 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1½ pounds), cored, quartered lengthwise, and halved
    • 2 zucchini (about 1 pound), quartered lengthwise, cut into ¾-inch dice
    • 2 red bell peppers (about ¾ pound), seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 1 large or 2 medium-size red onions (about ¾ pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 1 head garlic (14 to 16 cloves), peeled and smashed
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
    • 2/3 cup olive oil
    • Zest of 1 lemon and 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • Fresh finely ground black pepper
    • 3 ounces (1 cup) freshly grated kasseri cheese
    • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
    • Fleur de sel or another flaky sea salt
    • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

 

GARLIC CROSTINI

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 day old French baguette cut diagonally in ½-inch slices (18 to 22 slices)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove, cut in half lengthwise

To make the briám preheat the oven to 400°F, placing one rack in the upper third of the oven and a second rack at the bottom.

Slice the peeled eggplant lengthwise into 4 equal portions. Lightly sprinkle the eggplant with kosher salt and let rest on paper towels to pull out some moisture and bitterness, about 25 minutes. (While the eggplant is resting you can prep the remaining ingredients.)

Divide the tomatoes, zucchini, red bell peppers, red onion (separating each piece), smashed garlic cloves, and oregano between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Wipe the eggplant dry with paper towels, blotting it to remove moisture and any remaining salt. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes and evenly distribute these among the other vegetables.

Whisk the olive oil with the lemon zest and lemon juice in a small bowl. Spoon the lemon oil over the vegetables and toss well to coat them evenly. Season each baking sheet of vegetables with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Toss the vegetables to coat and spread them out in an even layer to cook.

Bake the vegetables until tender, 20 minutes. Remove and toss the vegetables, spreading them back out on their baking sheets. Return the baking sheets to the oven, switching racks. Continue baking until the vegetables are lightly golden and the moisture has reduced by two thirds, another 20 to 25 minutes. Season each tray of vegetables again with ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper.

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a 9 by 13‒inch baking dish. Sprinkle the kasseri cheese over the vegetables and, using the back of a spoon, make 6 evenly spaced 2-inch indentations. Crack one egg at a time and slowly release it (so the yolk doesn’t break) directly into each indentation.

Bake the briám until the egg whites are set and the yolks have a skin but are still runny, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the briám from the oven and let it rest for 5 to 8 minutes before serving. Leave the oven on.

To make the garlic crostini, while the eggs are baking heat the 3 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the butter is melted, about 2 minutes, slowly swirling the saucepan occasionally. Arrange the bread slices on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush both sides of the slices of bread with the butter and oil mixture. Lightly sprinkle kosher salt and black pepper on one side. As soon as the briám comes out of the oven, bake the bread slices until lightly golden and toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and rub the surface of each slice of bread with the cut clove of garlic.

Sprinkle a pinch of fleur de sel over each egg and garnish the vegetables with parsley.

Using a spatula, scoop deep under each egg in the vegetable mixture, being careful not to break the yolk, and divide the briám among 6 plates. Serve the garlic crostini alongside.

Cook’s Note: Place three eggs across the top and three across the bottom of the rectangular baking dish, so they don’t run together.

Cook’s Note: When removing the skins from the garlic cloves cut the root end and whack each clove with the side of your knife. Wet your hands and the knife periodically; this will prevent the skins from sticking while you work.

Photo by Andrea Coan


Shereen Pavlides is the host of Cook This! with Shereen, a popular digital cooking show for Calkins Media publisher of the Bucks County Courier Times.Trained at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education, she’s a chef, recipe developer, food writer, and stylist.

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