Nigella’s Turkish eggs

Inspired by Nigella Lawson, these Turkish eggs are a delicious alternative to a traditional bacon sandwich or full English. Loaded with flavour, and quick and easy to make, they make the perfect Sunday brunch with friends.

Nigella Lawson’s Turkish Eggs

  • 200g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 2 x 15ml tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 x 15ml tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper/Turkish red pepper flakes
  • 2 large eggs, fridge-cold
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • A few fronds of dill, chopped
  • To serve:
  • sourdough or other bread, chunkily sliced and toasted
  1. Fill a widish pan (I use one of 22cm diameter) with water to come about 4cm up the sides. Put it on the heat and cover so that it heats up faster. Line a large plate with some kitchen roll, get out a slotted spoon, and put both near the pan now.
  2. Fill another pan — on which a heatproof bowl can sit comfortably — again, with water to come 3-4cm up the sides, and bring to the boil. Put the yoghurt in said bowl, stir in the garlic and 1 tsp sea salt flakes, and sit it on top of this pan, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir until it gets to body temperature and has the consistency of lightly whipped double cream. Turn off the heat and leave the bowl as it is, over the pan.
  3. Melt the butter gently in a small pan until it is just beginning to turn a hazelnutty brown (this is why, in classic French cuisine, it’s known as beurre noisette), but make sure it’s not actually burning. Turn the heat off under the pan, then stir in the olive oil, followed by the beautiful red pepper flakes; it will foam up fierily. Leave to one side while you get on with the eggs. And this is when you should be thinking of putting the toast on.
  4. Gently crack an egg into a fine-mesh strainer and swirl it over a bowl, letting the wateriness (which turns into a stringy kind of fluff while cooking) drip away. Doing this will help the jellied white that remains hold its shape. Gently tip the egg into a small cup or ramekin and, aiming for the white, add 1 tsp lemon juice; I know everyone else says vinegar, but I just don’t like the taste of it on the egg, and the lemon does the trick just the same. Proceed as above with the second egg.
  5. When the poaching water is just starting to simmer, take a cup or ramekin in each hand and gently slide in the eggs, one on each side of the pan. Turn the heat right down so there is no movement in the water whatsoever, and poach the eggs for 3-4 minutes, until the whites are set and the yolks still runny. Transfer the eggs with your slotted spoon to the paper-lined plate to remove any excess water. Do remember to switch off the heat. Sorry to state the obvious, but I have too often left it on this low without noticing.
  6. Divide the warm, creamy yoghurt between two shallow bowls, top each with a poached egg, pour the peppery butter around and slightly over the yoghurt, scatter the chopped dill on top, and eat dreamily, dipping in some thick, well-toasted bread as you do so.
At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking by Nigella Lawson
At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking by Nigella Lawson

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