Defne Koryürek created this recipe, a.k.a. Eggs alla Kortun, when she and her husband, Vasif Kortun, were living in New York City in the '90s. He loved the combination of toasted bread, poached eggs, sizzling feta and olives, so she decided to name the dish after him. When they returned to Istanbul, Koryürek opened a café, Refika; this was one of the first things she put on the menu. She says, "To our delight, it sold like crazy!"
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Six 3-inch squares of rosemary focaccia, halved horizontally
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
10 ounces feta cheese, cut into 6 slabs
Aleppo pepper or ancho chile powder, for sprinkling
6 large eggs
18 pitted kalamata olives
1 tablespoon chopped sage
How to Make It
Preheat the broiler and position a rack 6 inches from the heat. Bring a large deep skillet of water to a simmer. Brush the focaccia with olive oil and broil until lightly toasted. Put a slab of feta into each of 6 individual gratin dishes. Drizzle each slab with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Sprinkle lightly with Aleppo pepper and broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly browned and sizzling.
Meanwhile, crack the eggs one at a time into a small bowl, then slide them into the simmering water. Poach until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to the gratin dishes and season with salt. Sprinkle with Aleppo pepper, the olives and sage. Serve with the focaccia.
Eggs can be difficult to pair with wine, but feta, olives and bread make this dish much more wine-friendly. Pair it with a fruity Mediterranean rosé (a good wine for eggs in general), such as one from Italy or Greece.
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