This brunch dish by Mandoon Estate executive chef Michael Hartnell serves two to three people. You can play around with any spring vegetables that you can find at this time of year, such as Swan Valley asparagus, broad beans or spring peas.
500g baby spinach
50g flat-leaf parsley, picked, washed and blanched
200g leek, diced and washed
1 fennel bulb, tips trimmed off and cut into thin wedges
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 spring onions, tips cut off
6 spears of thin asparagus
30g grated stracchino or mozzarella cheese, extra, to serve
10g grated Parmesan, plus extra to garnish
Slices of grilled sourdough, to serve
Step 1. First you need to make the purée. In a pot of boiling water, quickly blanch the baby spinach, (reserve some for serving), and the parsley and place straight into iced water. When cold, squeeze all the water out.
Step 2. Sweat the diced leeks in the butter in a pan over medium heat until very soft; put to one side to cool down.
Step 3. When cool, puree the leeks with the blanched parsley and spinach with the cream and bit of water to get the puree going. This can be done using a Thermomix or with a stick blender until very smooth. Season to taste.
Step 4. Preheat your oven to 170C.
Step 5. Sautee the fennel in a pan over medium heat in a little olive oil until you have nice colour, then add the spring onions and asparagus; cook until starting to soften.
Step 6. Transfer to a shakshuka pan or small oven-proof frying pan or small oven tray.
Step 7. Layer first the leek-spinach-parsley puree and then the fennel, asparagus and spring onions evenly over the remaining spinach. Sprinkle some cheese and Parmesan and scatter over the vegetables.
Step 8. Using a spoon, make small wells in the mixture and break an egg into each. Season well, especially the egg yolks. Place in the oven until the eggs are cooked; the egg whites should be firm but the yolks still runny (like a poached egg). This should take approximately 15 minutes.
Step 9. Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining Parmesan over the eggs. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with grilled sourdough.
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