It’s the restaurant that’s been raved about by foodies and restaurant critics, and won an impressive number of awards despite only having opened in 2014. We’re talking about – of course – The Palomar. If you’ve been, you’ll know all about the spectacular “food of modern day Jerusalem” it serves, the buzzing ambiance and the chefs knocking back shots of arak at the kitchen bar. And now, just a couple of years on, comes the Soho eatery’s much-anticipated cookbook. According to sources, even Ms Natalie Portman has been itching to get her hands on a copy of The Palomar Cookbook.
And it’s no surprise. After all, the team describe their recipes as “easy, fun, quick and simple to create, always beautiful to look at and utterly delicious to eat”. Who doesn’t want some of that? Plus it’s a true reflection of the experience you’ll have dining at The Palomar, in fact. In The Palomar Cookbook, you’ll find restaurant favourites like Polenta Jerusalem-Style, Octo-Hummus and Shakshukit, alongside simple recipes for the beautiful mezze – the “meal before the meal”, as they so aptly describe it! The Palomar is all about “heritage with a twist; modernity with lasting style,” according to its creative director, Layo Paskin. So we’re delighted to publish an absolutely delicious recipe from the book right along those lines: the New-Style Shakshuka. Enjoy!
- 1 small cauliflower, broken into 3–5cm evenly sized florets
- 50ml (2fl oz) olive oil
- 1 aubergine, cut into 2cm cubes
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp toasted and ground cumin seeds
- 1 tsp toasted and ground coriander seeds (optional)
- 2–3 garlic cloves, sliced, or very finely chopped
- handful of fresh oregano leaves
- 200ml (7fl oz) or water
- 1 courgette, shaved into ribbons with a peeler
- 8 eggs
- handful of chopped parsley to garnish
Start by placing a large pan of water on the hob with 2 tablespoons salt added and bring to the boil. Blanch the cauliflower florets for 2–3 minutes, then drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a large pan over a medium-high heat, add the oil and then the aubergine cubes. Now this is important: make sure you season every ingredient that goes in the pan with some salt and pepper and a little of the chilli flakes, cumin and coriander (if using) to ensure that your shakshuka bursts with flavour — you can mix the dried spices (but not the salt) together to make them easier to add each time.
Cook the aubergines for about 5–7 minutes until they have a nice golden colour. Then add the cauliflower florets, garlic and oregano, season as before and cook, stirring, for 3–4 minutes.
Crank up the heat, add the stock or water and scrape the base of the pan with a wooden spoon (that’s where all the flavour is) to deglaze. Leave the stock to boil for 30 seconds, then add the courgette shavings and the rest of the spices. Break the eggs gently into the sauce and drag the egg whites.
Lower the heat and cook for about 10–15 minutes until the whites have set but the yolks are still runny. Season the yolks with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the chopped parsley and rock on.