Oh my! Spotted this week at the Greene Hill Food Co-op: glorious duck eggs! What luck. You can pretty much do anything with a duck egg that you can do with a chicken egg, the biggest difference between the two is the size; duck eggs are slightly bigger all around, with a thicker, sturdier shell, and a larger, more saturated yolk. Duck eggs are more nutritionally rich than a chicken, yielding a bit more fat, which makes them wonderful for baking.
The yolks of duck eggs are also more vibrantly colored than those of chicken eggs, and the saturation of the color depends on what the ducks eat. Since the ducks that laid these beauties are pasture raised with access to a fresh running stream and fed only delicious non-gmo feed, the yolks are a rich meyer-lemon-setting-sun-70’s-couch yellow that makes us (almost) loathe to break them.
A duck egg is certainly a special treat, and they are delicious enough on their own to be treated simply- fried, poached, or scrambled, sure, but we decided to adapt one of our favorite pared down breakfast recipes (one that also does double duty as the perfect application for extra homemade tomato sauce), and considered ourselves a couple of lucky…yep, ducks.
Duck Eggs in Tomato Sauce
- 4 Duck Eggs
- Toasted Crusty Bread
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes
In an ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat, cook a crushed garlic clove in a good amount of olive oil — three or four tablespoons — until it sizzles.
Add the two 28-ounce cans of whole plum tomatoes and crush with a potato masher. (Chunkiness is a matter of preference.)
When the foaming subsides and the oil rises to the surface (the sauce glistens), lower the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 45 minutes.
Get your gorgeous duck eggs. To keep yolks whole, crack each into a small bowl (working one at a time) and gently slide it into the hot sauce.
Transfer pan to preheated 400-degree oven until the whites set but the yolks are still runny — a nice sunny-side egg — about 5 minutes. Transfer the eggs (one per person) to toasted Tuscan bread, spooning extra sauce around the bread. Top with shaved Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. A sprinkle of torn basil is optional but nice. Serves four (or two very hungry) people.
*This recipe is delicious starting the sauce from scratch, but if you already have extra tomato sauce (don’t you always make waaaay too much?), then just heat that up in the pan until it’s bubbly hot and start at the step where you add the eggs. Yum.