Baked avocados with eggs, smoky almonds & quinoa ratatouille recipe image

Print Baked avocados with eggs, smoky almonds & quinoa ratatouille

Avocados have become one of this year’s food trends, and I agree, they’re a must have in my kitchen. Packed with nutrition, they can be eaten raw or cooked. They’re also a good substitute for mayonnaise in creamy dressings; blitz, adding yoghurt, lemon juice, garlic and fresh herbs.

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion
  • Oil for frying e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 50g quinoa
  • 25g flaked almonds
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp herbes de Provence
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 stock cube
  • 2 avocados
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Peel and finely dice the red onion. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan. Add the onion and fry on a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring now and then. Meanwhile, preheat oven on to 220˚C/Gas Mark 7. Deseed the pepper.
  2. Dice the pepper, courgette and aubergine into small 2 cm dice. Peel and finely chop or crush 1 garlic clove. Rinse the quinoa in a sieve under cold water. Once the onion has cooked for 10 minutes, add the courgette, pepper and aubergine.
  3. Fry for a further 5 minutes or so, stirring now and then, while you toast the almonds. Spread the almonds on a baking tray. Mix half the pot of smoked paprika with 2 tablespoons of oil. Toss with the almonds then roast them until golden, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and keep to one side. Keep a good eye on them as they cook, as they can catch quickly. Add the garlic, tomato purée and herbes de Provence to the vegetables. Stir for 1 minute. Add the tinned tomatoes.
  5. Refill half the tin with water and add that too, with the quinoa and stock cube. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the pan up to the boil, stir and cook for 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the liquid level and top up with a little more water if needs be.
  6. Once the quinoa starts to cook, get the avocados ready. Halve them lengthways and remove the stones. Turn each half flesh side down and give the base a little press to flatten it ever so slightly. This will help it sit in the baking dish a little easier.
  7. Lay all the avocados flesh side up, in a snug fitting baking dish, leaning them against the side if needs be so they don’t tilt. This is important as you are going to be filling them with runny egg, so you don’t want the egg to run out. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl.
  8. Carefully scoop the yolk out of the white and into 1 avocado, then add enough of the white to fill it. You’ll have some white from each egg leftover, this can be kept for meringues, they freeze well). Repeat with the other eggs.
  9. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle the avocados with a little oil and pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the whites have just set. Check the seasoning, then serve the quinoa with the avocados, sprinkled with the toasted almonds and the remaining smoked paprika.

Cooks notes

Treat your eggs carefully in this dish, to avoid breaking the yolks as you spoon them into the avocado. If all goes a little awry and the yolk breaks, you can save the dish by making scrambled eggs and spooning into the baked avocados to serve, it will taste just as good!
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