Smooshed Potato and Egg (Yeralma Yumurta) by Naz Deravian
I always knew I was in for a day of adventure and rebellion when my maternal grand-mother used to babysit back in Iran. My mother would take out a container of khoresh—stew—from the freezer and ask her to serve it with some rice for our lunch. But as soon as my parents left for work the khoresh would go right back in the freezer, and we’d go about setting and breaking our own rules. A quick boiled potato and egg smooshed on a piece of lavash or sangak bread, drizzled with plenty of olive oil, and sprinkled with dried mint for lunch was our little act of rebellion. This simple treat is regular street fare in Tabriz, my grandmother’s hometown. Years later and oceans away, this is still my preferred “fast food” lunch or dinner, always prepared with a twinkle of rebellion in my eye.
1 medium Yukon Gold potato (about 4 ounces), peeled and cut in half
1 large egg
Olive oil for drizzling
Ground black pepper
1 piece of lavash or sangak bread
Dried mint for sprinkling
Feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
Fresh herbs, chopped (optional)
Place the potato in a small pot. Cover with water (about 2 cups), and add ½ teaspoon salt. Partially cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potato is fork-tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
In the final 5 minutes cook the egg. Place the egg in a small pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn off the heat and cover the pot for 4 to 5 minutes, for a soft-boiled egg with a runny yolk. If you prefer your yolk not as runny, cover for 6 to 8 minutes, or cook up to 10 minutes for a hard-boiled egg. Set aside to cool slightly and peel.
Place the potato in a small bowl and mash it with a fork. Drizzle with a glug of olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and black pepper. The olive oil and salt are key here, so don’t skimp. Place the mashed potato on top of the bread, place the egg on top, and mash or cut in half so the yolk oozes out. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with dried mint, feta, and herbs, if you like. Give another light drizzle of olive oil, roll up the bread, or fold it over, and eat.
Excerpted BOTTOM OF THE POT: Persian Recipes and Stories by Naz Deravian. Copyright © 2018 by Naz Deravian. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by Eric Wolfinger.