Who needs tomatoes? Shakshooka, a breakfast dish of eggs cooked in spicy tomato sauce, is popular in Israel, Libya and Tunisia. Over time, Israeli cooks got creative, and shakshooka started describing various other dishes of eggs cooked in vegetable-based sauces – most famous of which is the green shakshooka, that contains spinach. The idea to upgrade green shakshooka came from my fellow Israeli food blogger Hagit Bilia. I was telling Hagit about my grand plans for the white princess, and she asked me: “Why don’t you make a cauliflower shakshooka with spinach and some good cheese?”. “That will work!”, I replied, and very soon after she posted a very luscious shakshooka on her blog, proving the feasibility of the concept in the most delicious way possible.
Contains eggs and dairy / gluten-free / paleo
Prep and cook: 30 minutes
1 small cauliflower
4 tbsp olive oil
500g fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and roughly chopped if large
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6-8 medium to large eggs, preferably free-range
60g feta or chèvre cheese, to serve (optional)
slices of good bread, to serve
Cut the cauliflower into florets, then thinly slice (reserve the other parts for stock).
Heat the olive oil in a wide, shallow frying pan. Add the sliced cauliflower and sauté over a high heat for 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until just tender and golden.
Add the water, bring to the boil, cover and cook over a medium-high heat for a further 5 minutes until tender.
Add the chopped spinach and stir well. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leaves have wilted and lost most of their volume.
If you see too much water pooling in the bottom of the pan, push all the vegetables to one side, then allow the excess liquid to reduce (3-5 minutes over a high heat).
Stir well and, using a spoon, create little holes in the cauli-spinach mixture (according to the number of eggs you are using). Crack the eggs into the holes.
Cover the pan and cook over a medium heat for 5-8 minutes until the eggs are done to your liking.
Crumble over the feta, if using, and serve alongside some chunks of good bread.
Extracted from Cauliflower by Oz Telem (Hardie Grant, approx €17). Photography © Assaf Ambram.