As someone who used to work for a cereal company, I know more than I could ever possibly have dreamed about the importance of breakfast. And while I think that it’s a bit unfair to good old lunch and dinner to go crazy and call breakfast the most important meal of the day, I do agree that life without breakfast is just no where near as good.
During the week I’m a big fan of my homemade muesli with natural yoghurt and possibly some banana and a drizzle of honey or even a decadent spoonful of my quickly diminishing stash of my Mum’s plum jam. But come the weekend my breakfasts tend to take one of two forms.
If there’s a big lunch on the horizon, I tend to just go with a fresh apple or pear to tide me over until the feasting begins. The other possibility is to make breakfast the highlight of the day, more of a brunch if you will. I love a cafe breakfast and we Sydneysiders are spoiled for choice when it comes to good breakfast options.
Or then there’s always the luxury of the home cooked brunch. Whatever the variation, there tends to be something to do with eggs. Possibly poached on a virtuous bed of steamed asparagus, or scrambelled along with a tasty fry-up of sausage, mushrooms and bacon.
But my latest favourite has the eggs baked on top of a tomatoey sauce fortified with spicy chorizo and tempered with soft cannellini beans. With a spike of red wine vinegar to freshen things up it takes baked beans to a whole new level, just the thing for a drizzle of rich runny egg yolk… all good things.
baked eggs with chorizo & cannellini beans
Inspired by Karen Martini’s husband’s favourite hangover cure from Where the Heart is.
It’s up to you whether to go with mild or spicy chorizo, I tend to hedge my bets with a mix of both so you still get the chilli kick without it being overpowering.
The first time I made this dish I did as Karen suggested and scattered over about 100g marinated feta which worked well and I was planning to make it this time with some crumbled ricotta but we ended up eating the ricotta on Bourke St Bakery raisin and walnut toast for breakfast the day before so that wasn’t going to happen. To be honest the cheese was a nice touch but we didn’t really miss it at all. I mean with all that lovely chorizo and tomato to compliment the eggs a bit of cheese is hardly here nor there.
2T olive oil
4 chorizo, sliced
1 large red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled & sliced
4 sprigs oregano, leaves picked
1 x 400g (14oz) can tomatoes
4T tomato paste
1/4C red wine vinegar
2 x 400g (14 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained
green salad, to serve
sourdough toast, to serve
Preheat oven to 200C. Heat oil in a large flame proof casserole dish or frying pan. Cook chorizo over a medium heat until well browned. Remove chorizo from the pan and reserve. Add onion to the pan and cook for 10mins or until softened and not browned. Add garlic and cook for a few more minutes before adding oregano, tomatoes, tomato paste and vinegar. Season and bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 15mins or until sauce has thickened so it is no longer watery.
Stir through beans and chorizo and smooth over top. Bring back to a simmer and remove from the heat. Using a spoon, make 4 egg sized indentations in the bean mixture and crack and egg into each hole. Bake for 15mins or until egg whites are just cooked but the yolks are still lovely and runny. Remembering that this dish holds it’s heat so the egg will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven.
Divide between 4 warmed plates and serve immediately with toast and salad passed separately.