There is no finer–nor more appropriate–food to serve in the morning. Though most egg dishes–in any significant quantity for a large number of guests–are impossible to pull off successfully. There is nothing worse than an overcooked egg. Scrambled eggs must be served and consumed immediately, most appropriate for two, no more than four people. Frittatas are excellent but keep said dish in mind for no more than four guests. And omelettes? Just make them for yourself.The last thing you want to do is become a short-order cook on Sunday:

“Two more sunny-side up eggs, Charlie? *smack* Coming right up!”

So,  how do you still manage to serve eggs provided you have six or more guests over in the morning? Enter, the baked egg.

It’s elegant, classy, and giggly; easy to make an army of them all at the same time, from 6- 20. 

The invaluable Mark Bittman provides the recipe and, in his usual style,  gives the cook a ‘framework dish’ designed for your own experimentation.  He uses tomatoes and prosciutto. With Spring officially here, I opted for blanched asparagus (From California. Shhhhh) tips and finished the dish with freshly-chopped tarragon. Some crusty bread with butter is a nice, indulgent compliment, allowing the diner to scoop up gooey egg yolk goodness.

Oh, yeah. Spring? Cut the crap. For the love of all things sacred, let’s have a bit more consistency with the sun.

Baked Egg with Asparagus and Tarragon
Joe’s variation on this. – Mark Bittman
Yield 6 servings

Olive oil, as needed
1 bunch of blanched asparagus tips*
6 eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of freshly-chopped tarragon

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Smear a small amount of oil in ramekins. Line the base with asparagus tips–a tiny handful. Break one egg into each ramekin then put on a baking sheet.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until egg is set and white has solidified. Because the cup retains heat, egg will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven so it is best to undercook it slightly.  Precise time, in a good oven on a middle rack, is 12 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, tarragon and serve.

*Take top halves of asparagus, and toss them into boiling salted water for 30 seconds. Remove from boiling water and toss into an ice bath. Let sit for 5 minutes.  Remove asparagus, dry with a towel and chop asparagus into 1 inch bites. If you have any left over, feel free to save them for soups or salads.