EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 1, 2013

Protein powerhouse: Baked yogurt and poached egg

Food for Thought
Heather Atwood

---- — This homey little dish — baked Greek yogurt with kale pesto and a poached egg — I saw on a blog, and apologize now that I can no longer find it, or I would hang credit where it’s due. I think this is a little bit of genius.

Baked yogurt is a Greek thing; it didn’t come out of nowhere. Top it with a poached egg, and kale pesto, and you have a West Village kind of breakfast: warm, spicy, unctuous, and so homey it’s hip. The yogurt becomes a warm, crumby ricotta-like texture. The pesto is a punch of vitamins and zest; the egg is the luxury. I use no-fat Greek yogurt so check calorie-spare on this recipe box. I shake smoked paprika and drizzle chili oil over all, and teenage daughters and I call it dinner.

Kale, by the way, is having its day. Kale Caesar salad is everywhere, and kale “pesto” is right behind it. But I’m happy for these kale updates, happy for anything vividly green and flavorful in January.

Of course, this whole idea begs to be adapted. Change up the pesto how you like. Use walnuts instead. Go with basil if you can find some. Sprinkle the Middle Eastern spice blend, Dukkah, now available at Trader Joe’s, and toasted sesame seeds over the eggs for a Turkish variation.

This is a small winter meal or a large snack begging to be eaten with fingerless gloves and a scruffy wool cap, before you take the dog out for a walk on Washington Square.

Baked Greek Yogurt, Poached Egg And Kale Pesto

Ingredients

4 cups no-fat Greek Yogurt

4 poached eggs

1 recipe Kale Pesto (see below)

Smoked paprika (optional)

Chili oil (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put 1 cup of yogurt each into individual custard cups. Bake yogurt approximately 20 minutes, until hot and slightly firm.

Poach eggs according to your favorite recipe. I heat 2 inches of water in a shallow pan, and add a tablespoon of white vinegar. When water is simmering, I crack the egg into a custard cup, and then tip the egg down into the simmering water. Cook to desired doneness.

Make the kale pesto.

To assemble dish: Remove custard cups from the oven. Slide one poached egg upon each serving of yogurt. Add a spoonful of kale pesto, and sprinkle with paprika and chili oil. Serve immediately.

Kale Pesto

Ingredients

1 bunch toscano kale, about 8 ounces

1 garlic clove

1/3 shelled pistachios

Juice of 1 small lemon

1/3 cup Pecorino cheese, grated

Red pepper flakes

1/2 cup olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

Put all the ingredients except olive oil into a food processor and process until mixed. With the processor going, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Add more olive oil if you like it creamier. Taste for salt and pepper.

Rockport resident Heather Atwood writes the Food for Thought weekly. Questions and comments may be directed to heatheraa@aol.com. Follow her blog at HeatherAtwood.com.