Braised Eggs with Leek and Zahtar

Recipe adapted from Ottolenghi's book 'Simple'

Using Alexandra’s Zahtar

30g unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large leeks (or 4 smaller), trimmed and cut into ½ cm slices (530g)
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
2 small preserved lemons, pips discarded, skin and flesh finely chopped (30g)
300ml vegetable stock
200g baby spinach leaves
6 large eggs
90g feta, crumbled into large chunks
1 tbsp Alexandra's Zahtar
Salt and black pepper

  1. Put the butter and 1 tablespoon of oil into a large sauté pan with a lid, and place on a medium high heat. Once the butter starts to foam, add the leeks, ½ teaspoon of salt and lots of pepper. Fry for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the leeks are soft.

  2. Add the cumin, lemon and vegetable stock and boil rapidly for 4–5 minutes, until most of the stock has evaporated. Fold in the spinach and cook for a minute, until wilted, then reduce the heat to medium.

  3. Use a large spoon to make 6 indentations in the mixture and break one egg into each space. Sprinkle the eggs with a pinch of salt, dot the feta around the eggs, then cover the pan. Simmer for 4–5 minutes, until the egg whites are cooked but the yolks are still runny.

  4. Mix the Zahtar with the remaining tablespoon of oil and brush over the eggs. Serve immediately, straight from the pan.

Serves 6

Recipe from Ottolenghi's book 'Simple': Retrieved at