- Heat your oven to 220 C/200F. Peel and grate your carrots. Melt your knob of butter and very gently sweat your carrots with a lid on, being very careful to keep the temperature low so they do not burn, for 6-8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare your béchamel by melting your butter and when just starting to foam, removed from the heat and add your flour and stir to make a paste. Return to the heat and add a little milk and stir quickly to combine. Gradually add the rest of the milk, a little at a time, stirring each addition until combined. Cook for a good 10 minutes on a very low heat until the sauce has thickened. Season and grate in a little nutmeg.
- Meanwhile cook your ‘mollet eggs’ which are basically soft boiled. For medium eggs, boil for just 6 minutes (adjust this timing to the size of your eggs). As soon as they have had their 6 minutes, remove them from the hot water and plunge them into cold to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, very carefully peel your eggs. It can be a delicate operation when they are just cooked like this, tap the shells all over and peel from the bottom of the egg. Take your time and try not to break the eggs up.
- Season your carrots and place a layer in to 2 shallow oven dishes. Place the eggs on top of the carrots and spoon the béchamel generously over. Scatter the breadcrumbs over and drizzle with a little butter. Put your eggs in the oven at the top for 4-5 minutes only. Eat immediately with some bread for mopping up.
Recipe from French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David