Last but certainly not least is recipe #3 in the Smoked Almond Basil Pesto trilogy....and perhaps my favorite. But don't take my breakfast-biased opinion. Make them all and see for yourself! To start the week off right, I bring to you a new version of one of weekend staples....Baked Hash Browns & Eggs with Pesto.
One of my biggest foodie failings is my complete inability to make crispy hash browns from fresh potatoes on the stove top. It does not matter how many times I squeeze, drain, pat and salt those little shredded suckers. The end result is always half burnt, half undercooked and not at all pretty to look at. The hubs, on the other hand, makes perfect hash browns. Epic wife fail.
With this being said, I responded with sheer joy the first time I tried baked Hash-Brown Eggs. When popped into the over for 4-6 minutes until the eggs set, those slightly under cooked potatoes crisp up to golden crunchy perfection. Just look at those little shoestring crisps sticking out everywhere! Even for a potato-hater such as myself, these little guys are fabulous. They're crispy, crunchy and taste like eggs and whatever you top them with. Wife win!
Speaking of topping, let's discuss the flavor of this dish. It is sooooo good. Pesto and goat cheese provide the predominant flavors. Herbaceous, summery pesto and creamy little sprinkles of pungent goat cheese. Yum. Add a little green onion for additional fresh flavor and some buttery avocado and you have a winner-winner chicken dinner....or should I say egg breakfast?
A quick note on the eggs. If you don't like firm yolks (a-hem...right here!) be sure to take your skillet out of the oven BEFORE the whites are completely set. The eggs will continue to cook for about a minute after taken out of the oven. You may have a tiny bit of runny white, but it's negligible to a point that makes it worth a runny yolk.
Baked Hash Browns with Pesto, Avocado & Goat Cheese (serves 2)
- 1 1/2 c grated potatoes
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- salt & pepper
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 4 eggs
- 1/4 c goat cheese crumbles
- 2-3 tbs Smoked Almond Basil Pesto
- 1/4 avocado, diced
- 1 green onion, chopped
Place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Add the oil to the pan. While the oil is heating, combine the potatoes, paprika, salt and pepper in a medium bowl and toss together to coat evenly. Transfer into the hot, oiled pan. Cook until the potatoes begin to soften and a few on the bottom start to get crispy. Flip the hash browns (if you're talented like the hubs) or stir to redistribute the uncooked potatoes to the bottom of the pan (if you're untalented but determined like myself). Cook for another 5 minutes or so until these crisp up as well.
Crack four eggs into the pan and sprinkle with goat cheese. Transfer into the pre-heated oven and bake for 4-7 minutes until the eggs are almost completely set (for runny yolks) and jiggle slightly when the pan is shaken. Remove and set on a heavy duty cutting board.
Distribute the pesto over the hash browns and eggs in little pieces, then gently spread them over the potatoes with a knife once they have warmed. Top with avocado and green onions. Divide between two plates and enjoy.