While I initially made this as a dinner (which for two turns out to be a pretty hefty meal hehe), it could feed four for brunch.
We’re well on the way into autumn this way up, unfortunately, so something that doesn’t take up too much time is ideal! Snuggles in bed can happen all the sooner … all the sooner. For those of you who like me are without a dishwasher, this meal is also pretty damned convenient – one dish wonder? Ya can’t go wrong with that!
2 medium brown onions, peeled and chopped
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
½ tsp each cumin seeds, cinnamon and allspice
2 tsp salt and a generous grind of pepper
2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
200g baby spinach leaves
4 organic free-range eggs
Toast and Mum’s labna (see link in Recipe notes)
1 Heat olive oil in a large deep frying pan, then add onions and significantly lower heat. You don’t want to fry the guts out of the onion and char them. Instead, cook them slowly, for about 15 minutes, softening them until they are slightly caramelised. Cooking them on an extremely low heat with a decent glug of oil ensures all their sweetness and flavor seeps out.
2 When onions are soft and lightly golden, add the garlic and stir constantly for about 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn the garlic! It browns insanely quickly and can get pretty bitter, so keep a watchful eye, or peeper…
3 Add all the spices, salt and pepper to the onions and garlic. Again, stir constantly and keep the mixture moving, you don’t want anything to catch on the bottom of the pan. Like garlic, spices burn fast, too. Stir and agitate the mixture for about a minute – this is long enough to warm them through, which releases their flavor and aroma.
4 Add the tomatoes and turn heat up a tad to medium. Bring to a light bubble and let the mix simmer gently for a minute or two. You want to reduce the sauce just a little bit to concentrate the flavours.
5 Next, pile in all the spinach. It will seem like a bucket ton! But bare in mind that spinach wilts to nearly nothing. Mix carefully to avoid spillage over the pan, and fold the sauce over and over the “turgid” leaves. It will take a couple of minutes for the leaves to soften and wilt, but when they do, continue cooking the mix for another 2 minutes.
6 With a wooden spoon, make four hollows in the mixture – these little areas are where the eggs will go. Crack the eggs into the little hollows where the mixture is separated and cover frying pan with a lid, or if ya don’t have one, DIY with a baking tray, or tin foil. Cook covered until the whites have JUST turned milky or opaque, 5 or 6 minutes should do the trick.
You want to cook the eggs from the top and not just the bottom – by the time the eggs would have cooked if you didn’t cover them, the sauce would have reduced too much.
And take into account that the eggs will continue to cook after you’ve taken then off the stove due to residual heat, so serve them with a slice or two of toast, and a generous dollop of labna ASAP! You want to get stuck in pronto, while the eggs are still gooey.
I took the photo of the eggs on my iPhone, and being in London, there is no natural light in the evening, so it was taken with artificial light. Still, it gives you the idea!