The Magic of Diversity

When I think about cooking, I can’t help but think about all the different cultures that bring excitement to the food in my kitchen.  When we sit around a table to break bread together, it follows that our differences as human beings flows into our food.  In this way we see how ethnic diversity adds richness not only to our society but to the food we eat.  Life would be so very boring left only to our own approaches to cooking.  As a country loaded with immigrants, we have all brought our recipes with us from our past.  Each culture adds so much to life’s pleasures, through color, texture and flavor.

I enjoy making eggs dishes that can be served for breakfast or dinner.   This Green Shakshuka is no exception.  Traditional Shakshuka (a North African and Israeli dish) is made with tomatoes and peppers.  This is a riff using any green of your choosing.  This morning I used kale, Swiss chard, green onions, green garlic and parsley.  I often make it with my favorite combo of spinach and arugula, but alas this is what I had available.  Experiment!  Flexibility and adventure is the key.  Use any combination of greens, from turnip, to beet to herbs.  You really can’t go wrong;  just make sure to place your firmer greens in first before your more tender greens.  This comes together quickly and can be made as easily for two as it can for six.  Don’t forget the feta!  If you want to really sing, dribble a little herb oil like chive or basil over eggs.

GREEN SHAKSHUKA

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound mixed greens of your choosing (chard, spinach, arugula, kale, etc.), chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 shallot or 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons Zaatar
  • 1 bunch cilantro, parsley or chives (think tender herbs)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4-6 farm fresh eggs
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced for garnish (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat; add firm greens first and wilt slightly.  Next add garlic, shallots, cumin, Zaatar and water, along with your more tender greens.  Toss to combine; cover and steam for 3 minutes.
  2. Remove cover and cook off any additional water in pan.  Add any herbs you are using.  Make wells for your eggs with a spatula.  Carefully crack an egg into each well.  Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Remove lid and sprinkle feta over greens.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve garnished with additional herbs and avocado.

Serves 4-6

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“I’m a fierce advocate for diversity in all it’s colorful forms, and I always will be.”

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