I eat eggs for dinner pretty regularly. I know some folks consider eggs a breakfast food, and I do love a good Benedict for brunch, but I’ve always been a fan of eggs for dinner. There is something totally relaxed, completely soothing, and inexplicably fun about an eggy supper.
I think I probably get my evening egg love from my dad. My dad was never much of a cook. In fact, there were only two things that he knew how to make. One of them was scrambled eggs. He always called it an omelet, but it was very much a scramble. A kitchen sink scramble. With everything from leftover brisket to chopped chicken nuggets. And somehow we loved it. But more often than not, my dad’s “omelets” were not breakfast food. “Omelets” were for nights when mom wasn’t home and he didn’t feel like ordering pizza.
These days, I’m not quite as into scrambled eggs with hot dogs. But I am still into using eggs-for-dinner nights to clean out the fridge.
Yesterday, my fridge yielded leftover cooked butternut and a half a bulb of fennel. I added in a few potatoes and some onion, and a hash was born. Topped with an over-easy egg, it was sweet, salty, rich and decadent. I’m a big fan of the subtle sweetness of the squash with the crispy edges of fried egg. But if you don’t have any winter squash, you could certainly substitute sweet potato or some chopped carrots or parsnips. I quickly steamed the butternut in the microwave, because I like it a bit soft. If you prefer, you can roast it along with the onions and fennel. This is a really flexible hash, so play with flavors that you enjoy. And as for the fried egg, I happen to like a slightly runny yolk. I crack an egg in a hot, greased pan, cook for 2 minutes, then flip and cook for 1 minute more. But egg cookery is very personal, so experiment until you find your perfect method.
Butternut Hash and Eggs
2 cups diced butternut squash
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 cups diced Yukon gold potato
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped fennel
1 tablespoon butter
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put a few tablespoons of water in a large microwavable bowl with the butternut squash. Cook in the microwave on high until the butternut is soft, about 5 minutes. Drain any excess water and return the butternut to the bowl.
Meanwhile, toss the potatoes with half of the oil, the herbs, and salt and pepper. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toss the onion and fennel with the remaining oil and more salt and pepper and spread on another baking sheet. Roast both until the potatoes are crisp and the fennel is soft, about 20 minutes.
While the vegetables roast, cook the eggs. Heat the butter in a very large skillet over medium heat. Carefully crack the eggs into the skillet and cook until desired doneness.
Toss the potatoes, onions and fennel in with the butternut. Divide the butternut mixture onto four plates and top each with an egg, and, if desired, an extra sprinkle of salt. Serve immediately.