A leisurely weekend breakfast or brunch is an unspoken tradition (and, I know, I know, a real luxury) in our flat. Monday to Friday breakfasts are smaller, sweeter, and usually rotate between muesli, granola, and baked oatmeal–anything packable, preferably whole grain, make-ahead, and fast on a workday is a must.
Both my partner and I have become guilty of using avocado toast as a weekend breakfast and brunch crutch, and, while it is always pleasing, I crave a bit more diversity on my plate these days. I also lean eagerly into a good recipe challenge (after coffee, mind). Enter: Middle Eastern-inspired breakfast plates.
Layers of thick-style yogurt or labneh is a creamy, sharp anchor for roasted sweet potatoes, pan-fried halloumi, cucumbers, mint, chili, and poached eggs. A dash of Aleppo-style pepper, if you can locate it, and good glug of olive oil finish everything off. The myriad textures, temperatures, and tastes are absolutely day-making.
Israeli-Style Breakfast Plates Recipe
If you enjoy shakshuka, you’ll fall in love with this Middle Eastern breakfast dish. Layered with yogurt or labneh, sweet potatoes, halloumi, cucumbers, mint, chili, and poached eggs, this breakfast, brunch, lunch, or breakfast-for-dinner recipe is filling, healthy, and bursting with fresh flavour.
1 to 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided plus more for serving
salt, to taste
1 (250 g) package halloumi, sliced into 1/4-inch slabs
4 to 8 large eggs
water, for poaching
1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
2 cups full-fat thick-style plain yogurt (I love Fage Total) or labneh
1/2 English cucumber or 6 Persian (mini) cucumbers, unpeeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 to 1 fresh red chili, thinly sliced into rounds to taste
2 tsp Aleppo-style pepper
fresh lemon wedges, for serving
flatbread, for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a large-rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Line sweet potatoes up in a single layer, drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil, and season with salt; rub to coat sweet potatoes evenly with oil and salt and rearrange back into a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes, flip, and roast for an additional 10 to 20 minutes, or until very tender and beginning to caramelize.
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Frying in two batches as to not crowd pan, fry halloumi for 2 minutes on one side, or until golden brown, flip, and fry on second side for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Move to a plate and fry remaining halloumi.
- Fill a large pot halfway with water, bring to a boil, and add vinegar. Lower heat until water is very gently simmering, then carefully crack in eggs, cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny.
- To serve, smear a layer of yogurt or labneh onto each plate, top with sweet potatoes, halloumi, cucumbers, mint, and chili. Remove poached eggs from water with a slotted spoon, letting as much water drain off as possible, and place on top of dish. Finish with more olive oil and salt, and a sprinkle of Aleppo-style pepper. Serve with lemon wedges and flatbread, if using.