Chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad admit this dish is “a far cry from a classic shakshuka, yes, but we’ve found that sweet potatoes provide just the right amount of moisture and heft to serve as a base for these eggs.
“Serve this vibrant dish as a weekend brunch; it sure looks the part,” they suggest.
Read: Middle Eastern Eggs
- 1kg sweet potatoes, skin on and scrubbed clean
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced into rounds
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 150g mature cheddar, roughly grated
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, roughly crushed with a pestle and mortar
- 8 medium eggs
- 25g unsalted butter
- 3/4 tablespoon sriracha
- 2 tablespoons picked fresh coriander leaves, with some stem attached
- salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan. Poke the sweet potatoes all over with a fork (about eight to 10 times) and place them on a medium, parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until cooked through and softened. Set aside to cool and turn the oven temperature down to 180°C fan.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the onion, one tablespoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt and set aside to pickle.
Remove the cooked potato skins and tear them into roughly 4cm pieces. Transfer the potato flesh to a large bowl and set aside. Place the skins back on the baking tray and toss with one tablespoon of oil, a quarter teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper. Bake for eight minutes, or until nicely coloured and starting to crisp up. Set aside to cool and crisp up further.
Use a fork to mash the potato flesh until smooth, then add the cheddar, garlic, cumin, another tablespoon of oil, the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice, one teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of pepper and mix to combine.
Put the remaining tablespoon of oil into a large frying pan, for which you have a lid, and swirl around to coat the bottom. Spoon the mashed potato mixture into the pan, using your spoon to distribute it evenly. Place on a medium-high heat and leave to cook for about seven minutes, for the bottom to start to colour. Turn the heat down to medium and use a spoon to make eight wells in the potato mixture, breaking an egg into each. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, cover with the lid and cook for four to five minutes, rotating the pan, or until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny.
While the eggs are cooking, put the butter and sriracha into a small saucepan on a medium heat and cook until the butter has melted, whisking constantly to emulsify. Remove the mixture from the heat before it starts to bubble – you don’t want it to split.
When ready, spoon the sriracha butter all over the eggs, then top with a good handful of the crispy potato skins, half the pickled onion and all the picked coriander leaves. Serve right away, with the rest of the potato skins and pickled onion to eat alongside.
Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi, photography by Elena Heatherwick, is published by Ebury Press.
Are you a fan of brunch? Why not let us know what you think of the recipe in the comments section below?
– With PA
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