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These recipes show eggs the love they deserve

Addie Broyles
Hard-boiled eggs are part of this beef tagine dish from "Orange Blossoms and Honey." [Contributed by Martin Poole]

Eggs and spring go together like green eggs and ham — or soft-boiled eggs on toast or creamy spinach and ham or avocado and kimchi. These recipes feature eggs in one way or another and will inspire you for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Baked Eggs With Creamy Spinach and Ham

This easy all-in-one breakfast is the perfect companion to a thick slice of toasted sourdough or country bread. You can skip the ham, or try it with Canadian bacon or crispy pancetta instead.

— Alexis Mersel

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon chopped shallot

4 ounces sliced ham, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

12 to 16 ounces baby spinach

1/3 cup heavy cream

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 large eggs

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving (optional)

Crusty bread, for serving

Select saute on the Instant Pot and heat 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 1 minute. Add the ham and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the remaining butter and the spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the cream and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until most of the liquid has been reduced, about 15 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon pepper and taste, adjusting seasoning as desired.

Press the cancel button to reset the program. Make four wells in the spinach and carefully crack one egg into each well. Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to sealing. Press the pressure cook button and set the cook time for 1 minute at low pressure.

Turn the valve to venting to quick-release the steam. When the steam stops, carefully remove the lid. Transfer each egg on a bed of spinach to a plate, top with parsley, if using, and more pepper, and serve with a slice of crusty bread. Serves 2.

— From "Everyday Instant Pot: Great Recipes to Make for Any Meal in your Electric Pressure Cooker" by Alexis Mersel (Weldon Owen, $24.99)

Beef, Prune and Egg Tagine

Prepared for weddings or birthdays, this opulent tagine is rich, thick and intense. The blend of slow-cooked meat, fragrant spices and sweet, dried fruit is a classic Moroccan combination. The saffron lifts the dish from the everyday, giving a deep flavor and aroma to the meat. The final adornment of boiled eggs makes it even more lavish. Serve with plenty of bread to mop up all the sauce and a zesty green salad. Tagines are traditional earthenware cooking pots with large, conical lids. They are still used in many parts of Morocco today. The space created by the lid allows steam to gather, meaning meat can be cooked slowly without drying out. Visually, they are also a real show stopper when they are brought to the table. In cooking terms, a Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid will work just as well, and some Moroccans will use a pressure cooker instead — although if you opt for this, make sure you have a beautiful serving dish in which to present your food.

— John Gregory-Smith

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 1/4 pounds beef shank on the bone, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

A small pinch of saffron threads

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups hot beef stock

2 tablespoons butter

10 to 12 pitted prunes

2 free-range eggs

A small handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves

Sea salt

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes until translucent. Add the beef and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to seal. Add the spices and a good pinch of salt. Mix well. Pour in the stock, which should just cover everything, and stir together. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 1/2 hours until tender. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and place in a warm serving dish. Cover with foil and leave to rest.

Bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 40 minutes, or until rich and sticky. It will reduce by 3/4. Whisk in the butter and a pinch of salt, and then return the meat to the pan. Add the prunes and mix well. Give everything a few minutes to warm through.

Meanwhile, medium-boil the eggs in a pan of simmering water for about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of cold water and leave to cool. Peel and cut into quarters. Spoon the meat into a serving dish and pour over the sauce. Top with the eggs and flat-leaf parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4.

— From "Orange Blossom & Honey: Magical Moroccan Recipes from the Souks to the Sahara" by John Gregory-Smith (Kyle Books, $29.99)

Grain Bowls and Soft-Boiled Eggs With Avocado and Kimchi

A soft-boiled egg, with its irresistibly runny yolk, is a great foil for big, bold flavors and it also acts as its own kind-of sauce. Served on top of cooked grains with big pieces of avocado, chopped kimchi and a simple dressing made with the juice from the kimchi jar, this dish is a wonderful and easy meal for any time of day. The grains and kimchi dressing can be made a few days in advance. Store in covered containers in the refrigerator and warm the grains before serving either in the microwave or in a buttered skillet set over medium-low heat.

— Julia Turshen

4 large eggs

4 cups cooked grains, such as brown rice and quinoa

Flesh of 1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced

1 cup drained cabbage kimchi, finely chopped, plus 3 tablespoons juice from the jar

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

Kosher salt

1 small handful fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Gently add the eggs; cover and cook for 6 minutes (it's best to set a timer).

Once the time's up, use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to a colander and rinse them under cool tap water to stop them from cooking. Tap the eggs on a work surface and peel them.

Divide the cooked grains among individual bowls. Evenly divide the avocado and kimchi among them, then place 1 egg on each portion. Break it open or allow your guests to break their own.

Whisk together the juice from the kimchi jar and the mayonnaise in a small bowl. Season lightly with salt. Drizzle over the bowls and sprinkle each one with some cilantro. Serve right away. Serves 4.

— From Julia Turshen

Shakshuka-Stuffed Spuds

This dish borrows from eggs poached in tomato sauce, or shakshuka-type, preparations; using potatoes as the receptacle is an unusual way to serve it. If you have tomato sauce on hand, this becomes even quicker to make. The potatoes are regular ol' russets. You may need to dig deep in the pile to find spuds that are the right size and the same size, otherwise they won't cook evenly and thoroughly. The microwave does a good job here, and to keep the skins from drying out, we rub them with oil first. In truth, medium-size eggs are a better fit than large ones. We found in testing that even when some of the egg whites slipped the bounds of their halved potatoes and cooked to a soft opaque white on the baking sheet, we just scooped them up and plopped them back on top for serving.

You could tweak this to your heart's content by using all roasted red peppers instead of the tomato-pepper combo. You could garnish with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano or pinches of goat cheese instead of chopped parsley. Be sure to season the potatoes as well as the sauce.

— Bonnie S. Benwick

2 russet potatoes, no more than 8 ounces each

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or more as needed

Freshly ground black pepper

2 medium cloves garlic

1 roasted red pepper (jarred)

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more as needed

2 tablespoons tomato paste

Whole, no-salt-added tomatoes from one 14.5-ounce can (no can juices; may substitute canned diced tomatoes, drained)

1/2 lemon

4 large eggs

Several stems curly or flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (may substitute fresh mint)

Scrub the potatoes well, cutting out any eyes or spots, then pat dry. Use a fork to poke each potato 4 or 5 times on each side. Rub the potatoes with some of the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Turn them over and microwave on high for an additional 2 or 3 minutes, until soft enough to squeeze. Let them cool on a cutting board.

Position an oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler element; preheat the broiler. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Meanwhile, mince the garlic and coarsely chop the roasted red pepper, placing them in a small saucepan as you work. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil, the 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, the crushed red pepper flakes and tomato paste. Place over medium-high heat and stir, cooking for just 45 seconds or so until everything is fragrant. Crush the tomatoes with your hands so they fall right into the saucepan; once the mixture begins to bubble at the edges, remove from the heat. Taste, and add more salt, as needed. Finely grate the zest of the 1/2 lemon directly into the sauce and stir to incorporate. This is your sauce.

Cut each cooled potato in half lengthwise, then use a fork to fluff up their insides. Place them on a small rimmed baking sheet. If the skins happen to tear, just shape the potato half back in place. Use the back of a spoon or ladle to create a deep well at the center of each potato half; you may need to take out a little of the potato flesh, which can be a cook's treat, or you can add it back afterward.

Spoon the sauce onto each potato half; season lightly with more crushed red pepper flakes, if desired. Reshape a well at the center of each sauce portion; this is where an egg will sit.

Crack an egg into a small bowl, then gently slide it into the sauce well of one potato half. Repeat with the remaining eggs and sauced potato halves. All of the egg white may not fit, or it might spill out. Try to spoon it back in, because the egg yolk needs a little protection from the intense heat. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, or just until the whites are opaque and softly set but the yolks are still runny. If some of the egg white has spilled out onto the baking sheet, scoop it up and place it back on each portion.

Coarsely chop the parsley. Drizzle the remaining oil over each potato portion. Lightly season the eggs with salt and pepper. Top with parsley and serve.

— Adapted from and