I love a throw-in-the-dish shakshuka, but we must admit the homogeneity of texture, despite the explosions of flavour you can achieve, can be rather same-same. So, I threw in a few elements of my favourite salad – all the crisp pita bits – and I really encourage you to do the same.
2 Lebanese breads (large thin pita)
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp olive oil
1 green capsicum, deseeded and chopped into cubes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 leek, white part only, finely sliced
3 tsp coriander seeds, roughly crushed in a mortar and pestle
3 tsp cumin seeds, roughly crushed in a mortar and pestle
1 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes (or chilli flakes)
1 cup small spinach leaves
1 cup roughly chopped cavolo nero leaves
1 cup frozen peas
½ cup soft Persian-style feta, coarsely broken into chunks
2-3 tbsp coriander leaves, coarsely chopped
1-2 tsp Aleppo pepper flakes (or chilli flakes), or to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan-forced (200C conventional).
2. Cut the Lebanese breads into strips and then cut into bite-sized squares. Spread out on a large baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle over the oil then use your hands to spread the oil across the squares. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes or until golden. I love to take these to the edge – darkly crisp and brown.
3. Place a frypan over medium heat. Add the oil and once hot, add the capsicum, garlic and leek. Cook for around 5 minutes or until soft. Add the coriander seeds, cumin and Aleppo pepper flakes. Cook for another minute or until fragrant.
4. Scrape into a baking dish (about 25cm diameter) and add the spinach, cavolo nero and peas. Stir gently to incorporate. Scatter over the feta. Gently indent the mixture in four spots, like you are making little divots, and carefully crack an egg into each indent.
5. Place in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes. Depending on the 'go' of your oven, you do need to keep an eye on this, until the eggs look cooked through on top. Sometimes the yolks will form a surface, but still be gloriously soft and runny underneath.
6. Remove and add the crisp Lebanese bread squares. Scatter with coriander leaves and another pinch of Aleppo pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Tip: You can serve this completely standalone, it's a light dinner or lunch. Or you can extend it by serving it as a side to some slow-cooked lamb or heck, even throw in a few bits of chopped chorizo, the meat all gnarly and crispy, to extend this to feed a few more mouths.