I got the idea for this week’s recipe when I went to town (Locarno) and found some unusual purple carrots which I had never tasted before. There is something else that motivated this recipe: the rain. Since one month I have to keep my drive to go out and enjoy spring because it just keeps on raining. I decided I’d keep my spirits up by cooking something comforting like these cocotte eggs and soldiers. In this recipe I like the smoothness between the egg and the pureed vegetables.
Mashed veggies is a way of serving food which has been part of a cooking since ever. Pureed vegetables such as roots, were for a long time added to soups to thicken them. As time went by the water content diminished and the dish resembles more and more to the puree we know. Take the ‘etnos’; this is a recipe from ancient Greece which literally meant mashed leguminous. A bit later in time, during the Roman empire, Pliny the Elder and Dion Cassius praised mashed broad beans and leguminous (dried and green) in their Latin writings. The presence of pureed vegetables continued through the medieval times to thicken soups but it is only during the 18th century that the first actual puree recipes appear. (source: http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/societe/20120120.FAP9844/la-puree-a-aussi-son-histoire.html – in French).
Cocotte Eggs with Purple Carrot Puree and Soldiers.
Recipe for 2 people
Time: 25-30 min
½ tsp thyme leaves
40g fresh goat cheese
Salt and pepper
1 slice bread (preferably a bit stale)
Salt and pepper
Heat the top part of the oven at 200 C°.
Peel and cut the carrots and potatoes (potatoes should be cut into a little larger pieces).
Boil some salted water in a pan and add the carrots and potatoes to cook until you can easily go through it with a knife; it should take about 7-8 min but this depends on the size you have diced the vegetables.
Separate the eggs but make sure not to break the yolks and keep them separate.
Remove water from the boiled veggies and mash them with a potato masher until smooth.
Add the goat cheese to the puree and blend it in. Add the thyme with salt and pepper to your liking.
Take a couple of ramekins and oil them. Evenly place some puree in each ramekin. Portion the egg whites to each ramekin and place in the oven near the top broiler for about 8 min ; leave until the whites are almost cooked. Place one yolk on top of each ramekin and continue to cook for a couple of minutes. Depending on the oven, the cooking time of the eggs could vary so keep an eye on the process.
Chop a couple of leaves of parsley and place on the egg before serving.
Cut the bread into long strips and lightly brush them with the olive oil. Sprinkle over some dried thyme, salt and pepper.
Place in the oven at 200 C° until brown for 5-6 min.