A lighter version of the traditional Shakshuka, this green version with braised leeks and za'atar is an irresistible start to the day. It's a great way to use up any extra greens and fresh herbs you have lying in the fridge looking for attention. The flavours are fresh and zesty, thanks to the preserved lemons and herbs. Za'atar is a blend of dried herbs including oregano, marjoram or thyme, and earthy spices like cumin and coriander, with sesame seeds, salt and sumac. You can now purchase za'atar at most supermarkets (like this one) but if you are interested in finding authentic za'atar this Palestinian blend can be purchased on amazon here and the 250g bag can be delivered neatly through your postbox.
If you'd like to learn more about this spice which is sprinkled on a lot of dishes in the Middle East, I'd recommend reading this bonappetit piece
INGREDIENTS (Serves 6)
30g unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large leeks, trimmed and cut into ½ cm slices
500g of mixed greens
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
2 small preserved lemons, pips discarded, skin and flesh finely chopped (30g)
300ml vegetable stock
300g of greens (spinach, swiss chard, kale, collard greens)
handful of wild garlic leaves (if you they are in season/you can source)
handful of dill leaves, chopped finely
handful of coriander leaves, chopped finely
handful of parsley leaves, chopped finely
6 large eggs
90g feta, broken into 2cm pieces
1 tbsp za'atar
salt and black pepper
small green chili, sliced finely
Put the butter and 1 tbsp of oil into a large sauté pan, for which you have a lid, and place on a medium high heat. Once the butter starts to foam, add the leeks, ½ teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper. Fry for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the leeks are soft. Add the cumin, lemon and vegetable stock and boil rapidly for 4–5 minutes, until most of the stock has evaporated. Fold in the greens and wild garlic, until wilted, then reduce the heat to medium. Add the fresh herbs to the pan.
Use a large spoon to make 6 indentations in the mixture and break one egg into each space. Sprinkle the eggs with a pinch of salt, dot the feta around the eggs, then cover the pan. Simmer for 4–5 minutes, until the egg whites are cooked but the yolks are still runny.Mix the za’atar with the remaining tablespoon of oil and brush over the eggs. Sprinkle with fresh green chilli. Serve at once, straight from the pan with warm flatbreads.