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Shakshuka with Spinach, Swiss Chard and Caramelized Onion

Chef Yosef Mesilati, Tazza D'Oro, Tel Aviv

This beautiful café, situated in Tel Aviv’s historic Neve Tzedek quarter, serves what is arguably the best breakfast in Tel Aviv with this unique shakshuka as one of its signature dishes.
The spinach and Swiss chard base is delicious, but takes time to cook. It is definitely worth the trouble, as it can also be used as pasta sauce. Quantities provided here are enough for about 16 portions of shakshuka.

Ingredients (serves 16)
  • Spinach and Swiss Chard Base:

  • 3 lbs red onions, halved and sliced

  • 1/2 cup oil

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 7 large bunches Swiss chard, chopped

  • 2 lbs spinach

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, grated

  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper

  • 3 teaspoons salt

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves

  • For Shakshuka (per serving):

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh ricotta

  • a dash of ground chili pepper (optional)


photo: Daniel Layla

Prepare the base: Heat the oil in a skillet, add onions, sprinkle with sugar and fry gently until the onion is soft and golden-brown, about 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a large pot and blanch Swiss chard only until it wilts. Plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Remove with a slotted spoon and squeeze out excess liquids. Set aside.


In the same pot blanch spinach until it wilts and turns bright green. Plunge in ice water and squeeze out excess liquids. Set aside.


Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet, add spinach, and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine and cook until it evaporates. Add cream and basil leaves. Season with pepper, salt and nutmeg and cook until thick sauce is formed.


Add Swiss chard and fried onions, mix and adjust seasoning. The base can be used immediately or kept refrigerated for 2-3 days.


When ready to serve the shakshuka: melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan. Spread a 1/2 inch thick layer of the spinach-Swiss chard base. Using a wooden spoon handle, create two craters in the sauce and slide 2 eggs into them. Cook until yolks are set but still soft. Add ricotta and chili and serve immediately.

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