Smoked gouda and spinach add rich flavor to Baked Farro and Eggs Florentine. The versatile grain farro adds a nutty chew to this hearty breakfast.
Baked eggs are nestled in a bed of creamy spinach and farro.
Ancient and yet, current, farro has seen its stock rise in the last few years. An excellent source of protein, some of the best attributes of farro are -
- pleasing chewy texture
- nutty flavor profile
- hearty and filling
- excellent source of fiber
The cooking time of farro is dependent on its processing. The more processed the grain is, the shorter the cooking time.
- Whole Farro - contains the bran and requires the lengthiest cooking time. Overnight soaking of the grain is required before cooking.
- Semi-pearled Farro - part of the bran has been removed, thus a shorter cooking time.
- Pearl Farro - commonly found in grocery stores, the whole bran has been removed. It is the farro that requires the shortest cooking time.
The inspiration for this recipe is the popular breakfast/brunch dish, Eggs Florentine. Think free-form Eggs Florentine. Rather than have an English muffin, poached egg, and hollandaise sauce, Baked Farro with Eggs Florentine uses similar flavors but in a casserole dish. This is a perfect recipe if you are having family and friends over for brunch.
Adding a delightful chew and a nutty flavor that pairs well with the spinach, the farro is the base. Combine a luxuriously creamy and cheesy sauce with the versatile grain for an indulgent touch.
Smoked gouda is the move. Paired with the farro, the flavor is reminiscent of bacon. If you are vegetarian, this flavorful meat substitute is perfect for a weekend splurge breakfast.
How to make
To give the baked farro a head start, I cook the grain in vegetable stock in a saucepan. The goal here is to almost undercook the grain by a smidge. It will continue to cook in the oven in the baking dish.
While the farro is cooking in a saucepan, prep the other ingredients. Mince the garlic, shred the smoked gouda, wash the spinach, and slice the green onions.
After 20 minutes of cooking in the vegetable stock, pour the contents of the saucepan, farro and stock, into the baking dish. Now, add the rest of the ingredients. Stir the spices - ground mustard, nutmeg, salt and pepper - into the stock.
Create the sauce by adding heavy cream and minced garlic to the pan and stirring to combine. Add ¾ cup of the shredded gouda as well as the baby spinach, and the green onions. Give everything a stir, combining all the ingredients with the farro.
Put the baking dish in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes. This is where the magic happens - the spinach wilts, the cheese melts, and the sauce thickens.
Now it is time for the eggs. Using a large spoon, make indentations in the baked farro where the eggs can be placed.
Season with salt and pepper. You can sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of smoked gouda on the top of the eggs and farro. Bake for 12-13 minutes until the whites are set. You can put the dish under a broiler to brown the cheese but remember, you will also further cook the eggs. If you want the yolks runny, you may want to omit this step.
- Add bacon if you want the real deal
- Throw in some walnut pieces for texture
- Swap out the spinach for baby kale if you want a hardier green
- Change the style of eggs - poached or a crispy fried over easy egg would be delicious.
There is nothing better than a slowly eaten, thoroughly savored weekend breakfast. You aren't rushing through a cup of yogurt or eating a piece of fruit on the way out the door. But to sit and to savor your food as well as your free time, should be a must on the weekends. Baked Farro and Florentine Eggs is the perfect recipe for that breakfast.
Other indulgent breakfasts -
Baked Farro and Eggs Florentine
- baking dish
- box grater
- 1 cup farro (6.3 ounces, 179 grams)
- 2 cups vegetable stock (450 ml)
- ¼ cup heavy cream (80 ml)
- 3 green onions (⅓ cup, .8 ounce, 23 grams)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup shredded smoked gouda (3.1 ounces, 88 grams)
- 1 ½ cup baby spinach (1.5 ounces, 44 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
- pinch ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 eggs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
- Rinse 1 cup of farro under cold water.
- Bring 2 cups of vegetable stock to boil. Add the rinsed farro to the stock along with a ¼ teaspoon of salt. Cover the pan and reduce heat to medium.
- Let the farro simmer for 20 minutes. Some stock may not have been absorbed and that is okay. The farro may be slightly undercooked. Again that is fine because it will continue to cook in the oven.
- While the farro is cooking, prep the rest of the ingredients. Mince 2 cloves of garlic, slice the green onions, shred the smoked gouda, and rinse the baby spinach.
- Rinse 1½ cups of baby spinach
- Once the farro is par-cooked, pour it and any excess stock into the baking dish.
- Add the spices to the baking dish - ¼ teaspoon of ground mustard, ⅛ teaspoon of nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Stir to combine.
- Pour in the heavy cream and garlic and incorporate.
- Add ¾ cup of the shredded gouda as well as the baby spinach, and the green onions. Stir everything together, combining the ingredients with the farro.
- Place the baking dish in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Take the baking dish out of the oven. The spinach should be wilted and the cheese melty.
- Using a large spoon, make 4 indents in the farro, almost a crater. Crack an egg in each indent. Season the top of the egg with salt and pepper. You can sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of gouda on top of the eggs and farro.
- Put the baking dish back in the oven and bake for approximately 12-13 minutes. The eggs should be set.
- You can put the pan under the broiler if you want to brown the cheese. However, this will continue to cook the eggs.