Asparagus with eggs and za’atar
This recipe is inspired by my conversations with Vivien Sansour, a botanist extraordinaire who is on a mission to save Palestinian heirloom seeds (see page 201). Wild asparagus is one of Vivien’s favourite vegetables. She often makes a version of this dish in her mobile kitchen, in which she travels around the West Bank, speaking to farmers about the importance of conservingseeds. The quality of the za’atar is paramount here, so I recommend buying a Middle Eastern brand.
Serves 4–6 as part of a spread
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
- 2 banana shallots (about 70g total prepared weight), finely chopped
- 1garlic clove, crushed
- 250g asparagus, chopped into 2cm pieces
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 5 eggs
- 2 teaspoons za’atar
- extra virgin olive oil
Heat the light olive oil in a frying or sauté pan. Add the shallots and fry for around 10 minutes until they are soft, then add the garlic and fry for another few minutes.
Add the chopped asparagus and season with a teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cover and cook over a medium heat until the asparagus pieces are just softened but still have some bite; this should take around 5 minutes depending on their size, age and variety. Keep an eye on them so you can judge when they are cooked to your liking
Whisk the eggs in a bowl with a small pinch of salt and pour them over the asparagus. Using a wooden spoon, gently scramble the eggs around the asparagus, taking them off the heat just before they are set, so they don’t overcook.
Transfer to a warmed serving plate and finish with a light dredging of za’atar and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Zaitoun by Yasmin Khan is published by Bloomsbury ($45.00) Out now!