Sometimes I get ideas to make a dish and I don’t know where the idea came from. In this case, I remember exactly how I got the idea. On my friend Chitra’s Instagram she posted a photo of delicata squash rings that she’d battered and roasted in the oven. I happened to have a delicata squash from the farmer’s market in my fridge, and was looking for something to do with it. And when I saw Chitra’s photo my first thought was, “I could put an egg in that.” I’ve heard of toad-in-the-hole, where a hole is cut out of the middle of a piece of bread and an egg is cooked in the hole. I’ve also heard of baked eggs in a cup. But I don’t think I’ve ever heard of something like this. So here’s what I did.
Delicata squash is shaped like a tube with rounded ends, and has a slightly sweet flavor when baked. I cut off the ends (and saved them for later roasting). Then I cut the “tube” into pieces about 4 inches long, and scooped out the innards (and saved the seeds for later roasting). Then I oiled and seasoned two of the squash tubes and set them up in an oven-proof pan. I started it on the stove-top, over high heat, to get the bottoms browned. When they were brown I turned them upside down and put them into a 450 degree oven. I let them bake in there for about 30-45 minutes, until they got soft and golden. While that happened I cracked two eggs into separate bowls. When the squash was ready I pulled the pan out of the oven, and carefully tipped an egg into each one. A little big of egg seeped out from under the tubes, but the pan was so hot it cooked on contact and stopped up the leak pretty fast. I seasoned the tops of the eggs and put the pan back in the oven for less than five minutes. That’s more than enough time for the eggs to cook.
I took the pan out of the oven, and I used a spatula to remove the squash and eggs from the pan. I let them cool for a few minutes while I put together a quick salad to serve alongside it. The combination of roasted squash with rich eggs needed contrasting brightness and freshness, and the salad was a perfect foil.
So will eggs baked in squash be the next brunch craze? Doubtful, but they’re a lot of fun to make. And if you believe in such things it’s completely gluten free.