Ispanaklı Yumurta: Spinach & Eggs

This recipes is based on a Turkish-inspired breakfast dish – and this version comprises slowly cooked onions, tomatoes, spinach and eggs, topped with a drizzling of melted butter and spices. A slice of fresh bread and a small handful of olives on the side complete a deliciously hearty start to the day, all in under 30 minutes.

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Serves
4 As A Side Dish/2 As A Main
Total Time
27 Minutes
Ingredients
4 large, ripe plum tomatoes
3 tbsp of olive oil
1 large onion, halved and finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ tsp of ground cumin
¼ tsp of smoked paprika
½ tsp of salt
½ tsp of coarse black pepper
2 tbsp of Turkish sweet red pepper paste (tatlı biber salçası)
400g of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
100–200ml of water
4 large eggs
30g of unsalted butter
30g of unsalted butter
½ tsp of pul biber
1 tsp of finely chopped fresh parsley
Sea salt flakes & pepper to taste
Method
Step 1
Place the tomatoes into a large, heatproof bowl and carefully pour in enough boiling hot water so that they are fully submerged. After a minute or so, with a large spoon, remove the tomatoes, allow them to cool slightly, then peel and discard the skins. Roughly chop the tomato flesh into quarters, and place in a bowl, reserving all of the juices.
Step 2
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion slices and soften and brown them for eight to 10 minutes so that the edges crisp up a little. Add the garlic, and soften in the oil for a minute, then add the cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper and stir well. Add the sweet red pepper paste and the tomatoes and all their juices to the pan, turn down the heat and cook until the tomatoes have softened. You can use the back of the spoon to gently break down the tomatoes a little.
Step 3
Add the spinach leaves straight to the pan, then the 100ml of water and cook for a few minutes until the leaves have completely wilted down. If the spinach needs loosening, add another 100ml of water, stir through and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and make four little spaces in the pan by spreading out some of the cooked spinach. Crack an egg straight into each of the four spaces and cover the pan with a large lid for two minutes so that the steam aids the thorough cooking of the eggs.
Step 4
While the eggs are cooking, melt the butter in a small pan until it goes frothy, then take the pan off the heat. Check the eggs, and if the whites are cooked, but the yolks still have a good amount of jiggle in them (this is a recipe for dippy, runny yolks), then they’re ready. If the whites need a little longer, put the lid on for another minute or so, but be careful not to overcook the yolks.
Step 5
Add the sumac and pul biber to the melted butter, carefully swish the spices through, then drizzle over the eggs, trying to get as much on the yolks as possible. Season to taste with a pinch of sea salt flakes, cracked black pepper and parsley.

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