Serves 4 -6
We have made countless shakshuka variations, including a version with chickpeas and eggplant – whatever tastes good is allowed! It is also delicious as leftovers.
- 100 g (31⁄2 oz) leek
- 30 g (1 oz) butter
- 250 g (9 oz) spinach
- 25 g (1 oz) flat-leaf parsley
- 25 ml (3⁄4 fl oz) cream
- Sea salt
- 1 small fennel bulb
- 2 spring onions (scallions)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 50 g (13⁄4 oz) kashkaval, or another kind of mild, full-fat cheese
- 20 g (3⁄4 oz) parmesan, plus extra to garnish
- 6 eggs
- Sourdough bread, to serve
Halve the leek lengthways, trim and cut into strips 1 cm (1⁄2 inch) wide. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the leek and cook over medium heat until soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Wash spinach and remove the thick stems. Set aside about 50 g (13⁄4 oz) of the leaves. Blanch remaining spinach along with the parsley (with stems) for 10 seconds in boiling, salted water. Strain and immediately submerge in ice water. Firmly press to remove all liquid.
Purée the leek, spinach-parsley mixture, cream and 75 ml (21⁄2 fl oz) of water with a stick blender or in a blender until creamy. Season to taste with salt.
Halve the fennel, remove the stalk and cut the bulb into thin slices. Trim the spring onions and cut in half widthways. Warm olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the spring onions and fennel and sauté very lightly for 3 minutes. Season with salt, transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add the remaining spinach and 1–2 tablespoons of water to the same pan. Sprinkle with salt and distribute first the spinach-parsley mixture and then the fennel and spring onions evenly over the spinach. Coarsely grate the kashkaval cheese and 20 g (3⁄4 oz) parmesan and scatter over the vegetables. Using a spoon, make 6 small wells and break 1 egg into each. Salt well, especially the egg yolk, cover and cook for 4–5 minutes. The egg whites should be firm but the yolks still runny (like a poached egg).
Grate extra parmesan over the eggs. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with fresh sourdough bread.
TIP: If you prefer, you can also make the shakshuka in small individual pans.
Images and recipes from Tel Aviv by Neni, Photography by Nuriel Molcho, Murdoch Books RRP $49.99. Out now