Ottolenghi’s braised eggs with leek and za’atar

Health Agenda

Ottolenghi’s braised eggs with leek and za’atar

Published July 2023 | 2 min read
Words by Yotam Ottolenghi

This delicious braised eggs recipe from chef Yotam Ottolenghi is simple to make and is a healthy protein-packed meal for a family breakfast or dinner.

This is a quick way to get a very comforting meal on the table in a wonderfully short amount of time. It’s a dish that can be as happily eaten for brunch, with coffee, as it is for a light supper with some crusty bread. The leeks and spinach can be made up to a day ahead and kept in the fridge, ready for the eggs to be cracked in and braised.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cool time:
15 minutes


  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large leeks (or 4 smaller), trimmed and cut into ½ cm slices
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
  • 2 small preserved lemons, pips discarded, skin and flesh finely chopped
  • 300ml vegetable stock
  • 200g baby spinach leaves
  • 6 large eggs
  • 90g feta, broken into 2cm pieces
  • 1 tbsp za’atar


  1. Put the butter and 1 tablespoon of oil into a large sauté pan that has a lid, and place on a medium-high heat. Once the butter starts to foam, add the leek, ½ teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the leek is soft. Add the cumin, lemon and vegetable stock and boil rapidly for 4 to 5 minutes, until most of the stock has evaporated. Fold in the spinach and cook for 1 minute, until wilted, then reduce the heat to medium.
  2. Use a large spoon to make 6 indentations in the mixture and break 1 egg into each space. Sprinkle the eggs with a pinch of salt, dot the feta around the eggs, then cover the pan. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, until the egg whites are cooked but the yolks are still runny.
  3. Mix the za’atar with the remaining tablespoon of oil and brush over the eggs. Serve at once, straight from the pan.

This is an edited extract from Ottolenghi Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi, published by Penguin Random House, photography by Jonathan Lovekin.

Eggs: how they help with weight management

A rich source of protein and containing only 310 kilojoules, eggs are one of the best food choices to help manage your weight, according to Australian Eggs. Eggs are very filling because of their high protein content and a 2020 study found that eating eggs for breakfast, compared with cereal, helps you feel more satiated and less hungry afterwards, which can help reduce food intake for the rest of the day.

Finding your way to a healthier life

Carrying extra weight can take its toll at any stage and age. That’s why we’ve partnered with Prima Health Solutions to give eligible members free access to our Healthy Weight for Life programs to help you improve your quality of life. These programs are available to members who are overweight and have osteoarthritis* or are at risk of developing a chronic condition*.

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* Eligibility criteria applies. For more information see

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