Baked eggs with sage

Baked eggs with sage

The Herb & Flower Cookbook
Cooking time
20 mins

I first had a variant of this dish at Ottolenghi’s brilliant London restaurant Nopi. Called shakshuka, it was, as you’d expect, all Middle Eastern spices and exotic dollops of yoghurt, combining to create a wonderful – if deceptively simple – brunch. I gave up trying to create a replica of his version and instead devised this, the sage being less of a nod to foreign climes, but just as delicious. And I reckon this recipe is probably far easier to create at home. Serve on a lazy Saturday morning, with the weekend papers to hand, and nothing but a late lunch on the agenda.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons sage leaves, chopped, plus leaves to decorate
1 red pepper
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
2 slices good bread, for serving
4 eggs
a little bit butter, for spreading
2 tablespoons creme fraiche


  1. Add the oil to a medium-sized saucepan with a lid, and set it over a fairly high heat. Once it begins to get hot, add the garlic, chilli, cayenne pepper, paprika and sage and cover for 3–4 minutes. Wash, chop and deseed the pepper and add it to the pan. Give everything a stir and cover it for another 3–4 minutes, or until the pepper is soft.
  2. Pour in the tomatoes, reduce the heat and let everything simmer away for 8–10 minutes, until the mixture has reduced to a nicely thick and sticky consistency.
  3. This is the part where timing is key – you are probably going to want to pop the bread into the toaster just before you add the eggs to the saucepan. Break the eggs on top of the tomato mixture, evenly spaced around the pan and as quickly as possible. Cover the pan again and let them poach for 2–3 minutes – long enough for the whites to look solid but not so long that the yolks go hard. Sprinkle over a few whole sage leaves to garnish.
  4. Butter the toast, place each slice on a plate and, using a large fish slice, carefully divide the baked eggs and tomatoes between the slices of toast, taking care not to break the yolks of the eggs. Top each with a large dollop of crème fraîche and serve immediately.

Substitute the sage with...

  • Oregano, basil and tarragon.
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