This Middle Eastern classic is a simple combination of simmering tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, spices, poached eggs, and fresh herbs. I added a bit of crumbled feta (after I shot these photos because that’s when I had a stroke of genius) and served it with toasted, buttered crusty bread to sop up the excess sauce and runny egg yolk.
I first discovered Shakshuka either on Pinterest or one of my preferred food blogs a few years ago. It was love at first bite. I’ve since tried a number of variations including eggplant shakshuka (delicious) and swiss chard shakshuka (disgusting).
There are lots of great things about this dish but notably, a) it takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish, and, b) you probably have everything to make it in your kitchen, right now.
When I say that, I’m operating under the assumption that you are an adult who feeds themselves regularly. I remember visiting a friend of mine who was in the midst of his articling year at a big law firm in downtown Toronto, the only thing he had in his fridge was a bottle of sparkling wine and condiments.
So if you don’t usually feed yourself or you have the double-edged sword of working in an office that caters breakfast, lunch and dinner (as a means of chaining you to your desk), then you probably don’t have a 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes in your pantry.
I’d be curious to know what the pantries of people who subscribe to meal kits like Hello Fresh or Good Food look like. Is there one bag of green lentils collecting dust? Or are their shelves well-provisioned with canned and dry goods?
I’ve never tried a meal kit but I know they are increasing in popularity, especially amongst millennials. I even have some friends who’ve purchased meal kit trial weeks for their parents and got them hooked on them. I’m planning to do a comprehensive, comparative review of the most popular meal kits here on the blog – news you can use.
The great thing is that most of the meal kits heavily incentivize people to give them a shot by offering free first weeks if you’re referred by a friend or send discount codes in the mail. So, I should be eating dinner for free for a few weeks – stay tuned for the big reveal later this Spring.
In the meantime, I’ll be continuing to improvise with the tools at my disposal, including all the weird and wonderful potions I keep in my spice rack, the obscure condiments in my fridge and every colour of lentil kept in my pantry.
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and diced
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
- 6 large eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1/2 cup feta crumbled, optional
- 4-8 slices crusty bread toasted, optional
Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan (do not use a cast iron pan) on medium heat. Add the chopped bell pepper and onion and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.
Add garlic and spices and cook an additional minute.
Pour the can of tomatoes and juice into the pan and break down the tomatoes using a large spoon. Season with salt and pepper and bring the sauce to a simmer.
Use your large spoon to make small wells in the sauce and crack the eggs into each well. Cover the pan and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the eggs are done to your liking.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and parsley. Add crumbled feta if desired and serve alongside toasted and buttered crusty bread for sopping up the extra sauce and egg yolks.
Recipe adapted from: Bryan, Lisa. “Shakshuka.” Downshiftology. December 2018.