Easter Treat Antecedent

By Angela Denstad Stigeler

While thoughts may be turning to spring days and the treats of Easter, we’ve still got a bit of uphill journey before we reap those sweet rewards. If you’re keeping a Lenten fast, or just looking for a fast meal, here’s a little something that might help you keep your eyes on the prize.

While it’s not quite the same as an Easter egg confection tucked into a nest of jelly beans, this is a delicious savory take on the English breakfast classic of eggs and beans. This comes together quickly to deliver a protein-rich meatless meal at any time. Canned cannellinis make this extra quick, and when first sautéed with fennel seeds, they gain an almost sausage-like savory flavor. Canned tomatoes add some zest along with their juices, which help steam the eggs right in the same pan.

Serve this one-dish deliciousness with some whole-grain cheesy toast and you’ll find these eggs and beans will keep you well fed and content to await Easter’s sweeter varieties.

Basted Eggs in Popped Beans

1 14-ounce can of cannellini or other white beans

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with herbs

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or other herbs

4 large eggs

salt and pepper, to taste

toast and cheese, for serving

Place a large non-stick skillet over high heat. Drain the beans and put them into the hot pan with the fennel seeds and a pinch of black pepper. Cook for about five minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the beans begin to char and burst their skins. Add a drizzle of olive oil and the tomatoes with their juices and bring to a boil. Allow the tomatoes to cook down for about a minute, then make four wells in the tomato-bean mixture. Crack the eggs, one at a time, and slide them into the wells. Cover the skillet with a lid, a plate or a piece of foil and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the eggs to your liking, 3-4 minutes for soft eggs. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle the parsley over all. Divide the beans and eggs evenly among four plates. Serve with warm multigrain toast and a spreadable cheese, like ricotta, or melt some grated cheese onto the toast.

Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver