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That first meal on a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning is a sacred one. With the weekend’s fun ahead, you’ll need some fuel but (hopefully) you’ve got the time to whip up something a bit more special than a bagel or oatmeal. Shakshuka has become the standard-bearer for Instagram-famous brunch dishes of late and lucky for us it’s great eats on top of being objectively photogenic—especially when it goes green.

In the new book from NENI, “Tel Aviv,” which reads like a cookbook mixed with a travelogue where chef, restaurateur, and author Haya Molcho and her four sons (whose 4 names comprise the word “NENI”) take us on a journey through the Israeli city with recipes from the region, stories, and pictures lovely enough to live on your coffee table.

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The classic shakshuka—one of the most popular dishes in Israel—is twisted green when the traditional red tomatoes and red peppers are replaced with healthy garden greens like spinach, fennel, and leeks. If shakshuka has always appealed to you but the acidic tomato and warm spices like paprika and cumin don’t work for you in the morning, then this green shakshuka could be the answer. And it’s darn pretty, to boot.


Haya notes that they have been serving variations of shakshuka in their NENI restaurants since the day they opened the first one 10 years ago. “It’s useful because you can prepare the ragout and use it over several days for different dishes such as pasta, as a bread spread, or as shakshuka; that’s why many families make it over the weekend.”

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Related Reading: Host the Summer Brunch of Your Dreams

With time, Haya wanted to create different variations of this popular dish and so she started experimenting with spinach and feta cheese for a rendition similar to the one below. Another variation of hers incorporates charred eggplant and tahini and she encourages folks to experiment with the basic shakshuka recipe themselves.

Green Shakshuka

Ingredients
  • 1/4 pound leeks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 1/2 cups raw spinach (9 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whipping cream
  • sea salt
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 3/4 ounces kashkaval or other full fat cheese
  • 3/4 ounce parmesan
  • 6 eggs
  • sourdough bread, to serve
Instructions
  1. Halve the leek lengthwise and cut into strips.
  2. Melt butter in saucepan, add leek, and cook over medium heat until soft then remove and let cool.
  3. Remove stems from spinach and set 1/3 aside. Blanch the rest along with parsley for 10 seconds in boiling water.
  4. Strain and immediately submerge in ice water then press out all the liquid.
  5. Puree the leek, spinach, and parsley mixture with cream and 5 tablespoons of water until creamy. Season with salt.
  6. Halve the fennel, remove stalk, and cut bulb into thin slices.
  7. Trim scallions and cut in half widthways.
  8. Warm olive oil in large frying pan over medium heat and saute scallions and fennel for 3 minutes. Season with salt and transfer to plate.
  9. Add remaining spinach and 2 tablespoons of water to pan. Sprinkle with salt and distribute mixture.
  10. Add fennel and scallions over the spinach.
  11. Coarsely grate kashkaval cheese and 3/4 ounce of parmesan over the vegetables.
  12. Using a spoon, make 6 small wells in mixture and break 1 egg into each.
  13. Salt well, cover, and cook for 4 minutes or until eggs are firm but yolks are still runny.
  14. Grate extra parmesan over top, drizzle with olive oil, and serve with sourdough toast.

Header image courtesy of Acc Art Books

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