Summer Garden Poached Eggs

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, quartered and sliced (2 cups)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
8 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
10 to 12 basil leaves, stacked, rolled tightly and cut crosswise into thin strips (chiffonade)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
4 large eggs, at room temperature
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat the oil in a large, nonstick saute pan (or skillet with high sides) over medium heat until oil shimmers. Add the onions and cook for about 7 minutes, until they are translucent. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and add the tomatoes, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the zucchini and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, depending on desired degree of doneness.

Break or crack each egg into a separate saucer or small cup. Working with 1 egg at a time, tip them carefully into hot tomato-zucchini mixture by lowering lip of each egg cup 1/2 inch below surface of mixture. Use a spoon to gently corral egg whites closer to their yolks, if necessary. Immediately cover pan and turn off heat (do not move pan). Let sit, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. Yolks should be quite delicate and not at all firm.

Divide among individual plates; season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve hot for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner.

Makes 4 servings.

— Recipe from Waldorf, Md., resident Diane Leveglia, who placed third in the Post Food section's 2008 Top Tomato Recipe Contest.

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