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Narjissiyeh
4-6
servings
Main
Course
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Directions
For meat version:
4 tbsp
olive oil
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1 lg
onion, finely diced
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1 lb
(450 g) ground (minced) beef, lamb, or a combination
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1 tsp
salt
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½ tsp
ground coriander
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¼ tsp
freshly ground black pepper
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1 c
(125 g) shelled fava (broad) beans, blanched and peeled
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6
eggs
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Bread, for serving
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For vegetarian version:
3 tbsp
olive oil
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9 oz
(250 g) white cheese (such as halloumi, Akkawi, or Nabulsi), cut into bite-size pieces
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1 c
(125 g) shelled fava (broad) beans, blanched and peeled
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6
eggs
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Salt and freshly ground black pepper
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Bread, for serving
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Narjissiyeh literally means “like narcissus” and refers to a class of dishes made with sunny-side up eggs and fava (broad) beans described in the tenth-century cookbook Kitab al-Tabikh. It is believed the name was given to the dish because of its vibrant green, white, and yellow colors, just like the narcissus (daffodil) flower. In addition to being beautiful, however, the dish is also delicious. I’ve adapted the recipe to make it suitable to the way we cook and the ingredients we have available today. It can be made in both vegetarian and nonvegetarian.

Note: Fava (broad) beans are usually in season in late spring, and the tender early crops are ready to eat as is after shelling. However, if you want to reveal the bright green beans inside, you can peel the skin off the beans. Older beans should be blanched briefly in boiling water, about 1 minute, and then peeled. An easy alternative is to use frozen fava or baby lima beans (butter beans). If you do, simply cover with boiling water for a minute or two, drain, and use as above.

Directions

To make the meat version:
  1. In a medium frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent and starting to brown, 3–5 minutes. Add the meat, salt, coriander, and pepper and cook, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon, until the liquid has evaporated and the meat is nicely browned, 6–8 minutes.
  3. Add the fava (broad) beans, tossing to combine, then cook for about 30 seconds.
  4. With the back of a spoon, make 6 wells in the meat mixture and crack an egg into each one. Using the tip of the spoon, spread the whites around slightly, especially the thicker part surrounding the yolk, to ensure they cook evenly. Cover and cook until the yolks are at your desired level of doneness, about 3 minutes for runny or 5 minutes for fully cooked. Remove from the heat and serve immediately with bread.
To make the vegetarian version:
  1. In a medium frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the cheese in a single layer and cook for a couple of minutes on one side until starting to brown (time can vary considerably between brands depending on moisture content, so keep an eye on it), then flip over.
  2. Reduce the heat, to avoid burning the cheese, and add the fava (broad) beans. Crack the eggs evenly over the cheese and fava beans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Depending on how salty the cheese you are using is, you may not need to add any salt. Increase the heat to medium and with the tip of the spoon, spread the whites around slightly to ensure they cook evenly. You can also pierce the yolks and allow them to spread over the whites to give a nice marbled look and even flavor. Cook until at your desired level of doneness.
  3. Remove from the heat and serve immediately with bread.
  4. Note: Fava (broad) beans are usually in season in late spring, and the tender early crops are ready to eat as is after shelling. However, if you want to reveal the bright green beans inside, you can peel the skin off the beans. Older beans should be blanched briefly in boiling water, about 1 minute, and then peeled. An easy alternative is to use frozen fava or baby lima beans (butter beans). If you do, simply cover with boiling water for a minute or two, drain, and use as above.

Adapted from THE ARABESQUE TABLE by Reem Kassis