Maziar Farivar, chef and co-owner of Peacock Cafe, puts a gourmet spin on this humble Persian side dish, which is traditionally served family-style in Iranian homes. He adds a layer of richness by sauteing the greens in duck fat and gives the dish a little chef-driven showmanship with garnishes of dried rose petals and toasted almonds.
Olive oil or butter can be substituted for the duck fat if you cannot find it. Duck fat and eggs are usually available at Balducci's and Dean & DeLuca stores. Dried rose petals can be purchased at Yas Bakery (703-242-4050) and Assal Market (703-281-0000), two Vienna-based shops that sell Iranian ingredients.
For more elegant presentation, use a ring to trim/shape the white of each fried egg.
- 1 tablespoon duck fat (may substitute unsalted butter or olive oil)
- 1 medium shallot, cut into thin slices
- About 2 pounds spinach, tough stems discarded
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 4 duck eggs (may substitute extra-large chicken eggs)
- 1 tablespoon dried rose petals (available at Middle Eastern markets and health food stores)
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted, for garnish (see NOTE)
Heat the duck fat in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and stir to coat, then cook for about 1 minute.
Add the spinach. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook just until the spinach has wilted, then stir in the raisins. Remove from the heat.
Grease a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking oil spray and place over medium heat. Gently break each egg into the skillet and cook them sunny side up. Remove from the heat; keep warm.
Just before serving, add the dried rose petals to the spinach mixture. Divide among individual plates; sprinkle each portion with some of the toasted almond slices. Place a fried egg on top of each portion.
NOTE: Toast the nuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat for a few minutes, shaking them to avoid burning, until lightly browned and fragrant.
Adapted from a recipe by Maziar Farivar, chef-owner of Peacock Cafe in Georgetown.
Tested by Tim Carman.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.