Smokiness tends to take over, dominating everything it touches, and so it is a flavor I tend to avoid. But every once in a while, I taste something that helps me understand why people swoon for that licked-by-fire quality. This recipe is a prime example; here, smoked paprika and aleppo pepper flakes infuse melted butter with warmth, depth, and a brilliant sunset color. Drizzled on top of poached eggs, slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, and a swoosh of lemon-garlic yogurt, the softly-smoky butter ties everything together, rather than clobbering your tastebuds.
Combined, these elements make for a killer breakfast, all of which can be made ahead of time (yes, even the poached eggs, though I usually make those fresh, since it doesn’t take long). Which brings me to another reason why I’m sharing this recipe, each of the components can be repurposed: a dollop of the garlicky yogurt is just the thing to enliven a grain bowl or some lentils, the tomatoes and onions can be tossed with pasta or served as a stand-alone side, and the butter is great drizzled over roast chicken, steak, or a variety of vegetables. In short, there’s a lot to love here.
It might not be super-obvious, but this recipe is based on a classic Turkish breakfast, cilbir. Here, I’ve switched things up a bit, omitting the traditional pita, and instead adding in a mound of roasted tomatoes and onions for extra fiber and flavor. Either way it’s great, so you do you. If you’d like more eggy inspiration, I’d recommend checking out the recipe’s source, Posh Eggs, a compact and cheery volume full of things I’d like to make; some other favorite ideas include: green shakshuka, parmesan custards with crispy bacon, and an insanely-amazing-looking monte cristo sandwich.
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 large onion, sliced into 3/-4-inch-thick half moons
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- About 1 1/2 cups (14 ounces/400 grams) Greek yogurt, at room temperature
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 garlic cloves, grated on a microplane
- 2 teaspoons tahini
- 2 ounces (55 grams) unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo chile flakes
- 4 large eggs, poached
- Flaky sea salt, for garnish
- Mint and cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Toss together the tomatoes, onions, olive oil, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt on the prepped half-sheet pan. Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are somewhat shrunken, and the onion is soft and beginning to brown.
- Meanwhile, mix together the yogurt, lemon zest and juice, garlic, and tahini. Season to taste with salt.
- Melt the butter in a small pan, add the paprika and chile flakes, cook until fragrant, then season to taste with salt.
- To serve, divide the yogurt between four bowls, top each with some of the vegetables, and 1 poached egg. Sprinkle the egg with flaky sea salt (kosher is fine here too), drizzle with the spiced butter, and sprinkle with mint and cilantro.