Roasted Vegetable Nests With Egg

No one can accuse me of not eating my greens or not eating enough vegetables in general. I like looking at what the people in front and behind of me at the supermarket checkout put on the conveyor belt, and I’m often astonished at how much convenience food people buy. I have a running commentary on it in my head, things like “you could easily make this with fresh veg or fruit” etc. Well, to each their own, but I’ll stick with fresh produce, so here’s another vegetable recipe.

I’ve been envisioning little roasted vegetable nests made from spiralised veg for a while now, but the reason I procrastinated was that my spiraliser isn’t a very good or efficient one, so it takes a little time getting the vegetables done.

For my first try I used a huge carrot, a large zucchini, two large potatoes, a large turnip, and two large beets. I actually shopped for those with my spiraliser in mind, knowing that the veg would have to be evenly shaped or straight, otherwise it would be even more tedious to get it all spiralised properly.

These made for much more than I needed, but I was going to prep ahead for more meals with half of it. Although this should be quite a simple meal, things can go wrong. For example, I salted the spiralised veg when I mixed it all in a bowl and then decided to add a powdered rub for more spice. The rub was salty, too, so it was a little too much in the end. I compensated for that by serving the nests with sour cream, but next time I would just use salt and pepper.

Because each vegetable has its own very distinguishable taste, the salt and pepper seasoning would be a much better option. I could taste the beets and the turnip, but not so much the carrot, potato and zucchini.

I also wanted to add fresh herbs and bought marjoram on a whim. In the end I just sprinkled it on top of the eggs before baking them, because fresh herbs will easily burn during roasting. Due to the rub I was using, I couldn’t really taste the marjoram much, so another reason to season with salt and pepper only. The vegetables were mixed with 2 tbsp olive oil, and even though it was quite a lot of veg, that was enough.

The nests took longer to roast than I had expected; I was sure due to being spiralised it would be done quite quickly, but had to roast for 45 minutes, turning the nests after 20 minutes. The egg also took longer to set than I had expected. I had read somewhere that it should take between 5 – 7 minutes to cook the egg whites and have a soft yolk but it took 12 minutes (at 200°C).

All in all, though, this was a very worthwhile experiment, and I’ll make this again with the changes I mentioned above. These vegetable nests make for a nice lunch or for a nice starter.

If you want to give this a go, spiralise vegetables of your choice (do include beets – they give this such a gorgeous colour!), season with salt and pepper, add olive oil, mix in a large bowl, then arrange nests on an oil-brushed baking sheet.

After 20 minutes at 200°C, flip nests over so the undersides will get properly roasted. Roast for another 10 minutes, then make a deep hollow (down to almost the bottom) in the middle of each nest and crack in an egg. Sprinkle with fresh herb of your choice. Roast for another 10 minutes, or until egg is done to your taste. Serve with sour cream.