Baked eggs, their yolks all yellow and jammy, make a beautiful and simple breakfast. In the springtime when both local eggs and young, tender stinging nettle leaves are available, I like to make this dish. It’s easy, nutrient-dense, and speaks to the season. Bright green nettle-pumpkin seed pesto, spiked with garlic and jalapeño, offers a pleasant contrast to the creaminess of baked eggs.
While fresh stinging nettle can irritate the skin, don’t let that put you off from making this raw nettle pesto. Remember to handle the herb with care, wearing long sleeves and thick gloves when touching the leaves. Like both drying and cooking, pureeing the plant’s leaves neutralizes the compounds that give them their sting, so you can still enjoy stinging nettle fresh in this recipe, where its taste is marvelously green.
- 4 teaspoons salted butter, melted
- 8 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups tightly packed fresh stinging nettle leaves
- 1/2 cup tightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and brush four 6-ounce ramekins with 1 teaspoon of melted butter each.
Crack two eggs into each ramekin and then tuck them into the oven to bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the yolk is set to your liking.
While the eggs bake, in a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the nettles, parsley, jalapeño, garlic, pumpkin seeds, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil. Puree until smooth and transfer to a small bowl.
Pull the eggs out of the oven, spoon the nettle pesto over them, and serve immediately. Any extra pesto will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.