Chef Jenn Lewis
At Ray, an Israeli restaurant in Portland, Ore. chef/owner Lewis serves up small and large plates with global flavors. Shakshuka is typically prepared with eggs poached on a layer of cooked tomatoes, but this version is presented on a bed of cooked spinach seasoned with cumin, coriander, caraway, turmeric and garlic. It makes for a colorful brunch dish or veg-centric supper.
1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed and halved
4 oz. Malabar spinach leaves and stems, coarsely chopped (or use regular fresh spinach or chard)
1 cup cilantro leaves, plus a few sprigs for garnish
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and cut into thirds
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. ground turmeric
Fine sea salt, to taste
2 oz. sheep’s milk feta cheese
1. In food processor, combine tomatillos, spinach, cilantro and jalapeno. Pulse until ingredients are finely chopped.
2. Scrape down sides of bowl and process again until ingredients are well mixed but not fully pureed. (Texture should be fine, not chunky.) Set aside.
3. In 10-inch skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, caraway and turmeric. Cook stirring often, about 4 minutes or until onion is translucent; do not brown garlic.
4. Add tomatillo mixture to skillet; season lightly with salt and bring to a light simmer. Cook slowly 8 to 10 minutes or until sauce thickens.
5. Crack eggs on top of spinach mixture in skillet. Reduce heat to low; cover pan and allow eggs to cook gently and steam. Cook eggs 4 to 5 minutes or until whites are set.
6. Spoon into individual bowls with eggs on top; garnish with cilantro sprigs and feta. Serve immediately, with toast to soak up sauce.
Photo courtesy of Culinary Institute of America