Conversations at my job vary among a few recurring themes: crazy customers, how much we hate chicken, how we’d kill for a glass of wine, and food. While the first three conversations could practically be played on repeat, the fourth is constantly changing.
We talk about what we’re eating, what restaurants we’ve been to lately, what we ate for dinner the night before and what we’re going to eat as soon as we get home. Food talk starts when we open and continues until the office is closed and is often accompanied by photos and/or shared samples.
The two most obsessed eaters seem to be me and my co-worker Breezy. We both used to work in kitchens around town and we spend a lot of time between phone calls chatting about recipes, techniques and ingredients. This is pretty handy because it’s nice to have someone to bounce food ideas off of when I’m in need of inspiration.
In fact, the idea for this dish came about because I was complaining to her about having nothing at home to eat for dinner.
“Nothing?” she questioned, with a hint of disbelief. (She knows as well as I do that when you live with a chef you could probably survive off odds, ends, condiments and leftovers for two to three weeks if you had to.)
“Well,” I said, mentally investigating my fridge, “I have a delicata squash and a handful of tomatoes. Hmmm, some goat cheese, a bunch of kale and an egg. Never mind, I’m good!”
Later that night I sent her a picture of the finished meal, pleased it turned out just as I imagined. It was quick to whip up and tasted of happiness. The squash was tender and its sweetness was tempered by the saltiness of the cheese and olives. The kale, tomatoes and baked egg made it filling and satisfying.
Besides being easy to put together, this dish would be equally fitting for brunch, lunch or dinner. It would also be really easy to make for a crowd — either accompanied by a side salad, some meat (pan roasted chicken breasts, perhaps) or even just a warm baguette. Though, to be honest, I found it perfectly filling on its own.
Roasted Delicata Squash with Baked Eggs
Cooking time: roughly 30-40 minutes
- 1 medium-large delicata squash, split in half lengthwise, cleaned of pulp
- 1 bunch of kale, blanched and roughly chopped
- 1/4 tsp chili flake (optional)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 eggs
- 8-10 kalamata olives, pitted, sliced
- 1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- 5-6 cloves of roasted garlic (optional)
- 1/4 cup goat cheese or feta (leave out to make whole30 compliant)
- Garlic oil or Agrumato lemon oil (optional)
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375. Rub delicata with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast cut side down until just tender (it will continue cooking later).
While the squash is roasting, get a skillet hot, add oil and garlic and chili flake, if using. Cook over medium heat until just fragrant, add kale and season. Cook until kale is softened and flavorful. Remove from heat.
Once the squash halves are tender, fill them with kale (reserving any leftovers for later). Make a well in the center of the kale, add eggs and olives, and pop back into oven. Bake until eggs are cooked to your liking.
Meanwhile, take the skillet, remove leftover kale and set aside, and add the roasted garlic (if using) and tomatoes. Put pan in oven, cook until the tomatoes are hot and some have burst. Pull from oven, add kale. Set aside.
When the egg is set, top with crumbled cheese. Plate with roasted tomatoes, kale and roasted garlic. Drizzle with garlic or lemon oil, if desired. Season with crunchy salt and cracked black pepper.