Last year around this time, we were Lebanese recipe-testing for my book like crazy. There was a great group of testers who took time to cook up whatever interested them on my list, and then to provide detailed feedback in an effort to make everything about the recipe as good as it could possibly be.
I loved that process, waiting for every response with great anticipation. Some recipes took many, many rounds of trial and error and trial and, in the end, success (of course!). Kind, skilled cooks took time to share insights, likes and dislikes too.
Along the way, other tidbits fell into my path that I filed away in the back of my head for another, less hectic time.
This is far (far) from being a less hectic time, with my book coming out in a little over a month (publication date has changed: it’s April 28th), and another major endeavor in the hopper that I can’t wait to share with you in a few short weeks (this one is for and about you and your kitchens!).
Still, there’s one idea that’s been on my mind, and it pops up every time I make and eat my beloved bowls of deep, dark, caramelized mujadara. That idea, thank you cousin Cheryl!, is this: put an egg on it. An egg! Of course! We foodies know that everywhere we turn, they’re putting an egg on anything and everything. It’s hip, it’s cool, it’s healthy, it’s most of all…so delicious.
The first time I had an egg in an unexpected place was on a stunner of a pizza at Mia Francesca on Clark Street in Chicago. I couldn’t hold back my wide eyes as the waiter took a spoon and broke the yolk open to let its sunshine spread all over the top of the pizza. Here, the egg does a similar sunshine job, and offers a protein boost I love, even though it’s not really needed with the perfect protein combo that is lentils and rice or wheat.
This is a whole new mujadara meal (NOT leftovers, no!), perhaps on day two or three or, forgive me, four; a got-home-late-no-time-to-cook relief; a serious breakfast of champions when you add a scoop of labneh to the mix.
Reveling in good ideas like this one, I find myself missing the days of cookbook recipe testing. Hmmm. Might have to think about another good book to write, and soon.
- 1 cup warm mujadara
- Handful of arugula
- Spoonful of labneh
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 egg
- Pinch of sumac or za’atar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a serving dish or bowl, top the mujadara with the arugula and labneh.
- In a small non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat until it’s hot, but not smoking. Crack the egg into the oil and cook, taking care with the splattering hot oil. Cover the skillet, checking occasionally until the yolk is covered with a light white film and the edges of the egg are golden and crispy.
- Tip the egg and any remaining oil from the pan over the mujadara, arugula, and labneh. Top everything with a pinch of sumac or za’atar, and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.