A year or so ago I stumbled across a recipe for Shakshuka. I didn’t know it was actually a “thing”, but bookmarked it because, it was pretty, and well…tomatoes and eggs. Of course I didn’t get around to making it until a few months ago. But holy moly, did I ever fall in love. This dish is the perfect combination of tomatoes, eggs and spices, creating a delicious sauce that needs to be mopped up with bread.
There are a number of variations floating around the web and I’ve been working on my own version to give to you guys. Of course, you really can’t go wrong, no matter what you choose to do.
The eggs are poached in a sauce of tomatoes, onions and spices. I’ve used fresh and canned tomatoes, and while fresh are obviously preferred, canned tomatoes work just as well during the long winter months. I’ve also added tomato paste (Pro Tip: freeze tomato paste in ice cube containers (roughly 1 tbsp per cube) and have them at hand to pop into any type of dish that calls for it!), honey and cider vinegar to help round out the flavours. For spices, I use smoked paprika, cumin and fresh thyme in mine, but regular or sweet paprika and dried thyme would be delicious as well, you’ll just have a bit of a different flavour. Traditional versions call for chili peppers, but I’ve opted for using crushed red pepper flakes as I’m more likely to have them on hand.
The dish is thought to have Tunisian origin, but is also part of Libyan, Algerian, Moroccan and Egyptian cuisines. It can be served for any meal, but no matter when you choose to serve it, make sure you have some bread on hand…you don’t want to miss a drop of the sauce.
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 (14 ounce) cans diced or whole tomatoes, or 6-8 ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange), diced
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, plus additional for garnish
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 1 cup loosely packed greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard, etc.), coarsely chopped
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
- 4 eggs
- In a large cast iron or other skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic and spices, and cook until onions are translucent and spices are fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, bell pepper, thyme, honey and cider vinegar. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the chopped greens and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, until wilted.
- Scatter feta or goat cheese over the dish. Using the back of a spoon, make 4 indentations/holes. Crack an egg into each hole. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Cover and cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until eggs are done to your liking. Serve warm with bread or toast.