Recipe by Renee Kohlman
People always give me funny looks when I tell them I had Shakshuka for breakfast. Their quizzical looks make me happy because then I get to tell them about one of my favourite egg dishes.
There is even a restaurant in Jaffa, Israel called Dr. Shakshuka, where patrons heartily tuck into - you guessed it - shakshuka. This versatile, North African dish is saucy and spicy. Feel free to swap around the herbs and spices, and be sure to use lovely garden tomatoes if making this in summer or fall. A chunk of good white bread is ideal for dunking into the glorious sauce and wiping your plate clean.
1 tsp ground cumin
½ cup (120 mL) olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 peppers, red, yellow and/or orange, sliced into 1 cm strips
1 Tbs (15 mL) honey
2 bay leaves
1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup chopped parsley
1 can (796 mL) San Marzano tomatoes, or whole tomatoes (or 8 ripe, chopped tomatoes)
2 tsp paprika
2 pinches cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
½ cup feta cheese
chopped cilantro or thyme for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400º F.
- In a very large pan, heat the cumin over high heat for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the oil and onions, sauté for 5 minutes. Add garlic and peppers, stirring well. Cook about 3 minutes, then stir in the honey and herbs. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of your spoon. Stir in the paprika, cayenne, season with salt and pepper. If mixture seems too thick, thin with water. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes. You want a pasta sauce-like consistency.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove bay leaves. Divide the mixture into 4 individual small frying pans, or into 1 large one. Make little indentations into the sauce, and crack an egg into each.
- Sprinkle with cracked pepper and salt. Scatter feta over sauce and eggs. Cover with lid or aluminium foil and bake until white is set but yolks are still soft, about 10 - 20 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro or thyme and serve with large chunks of crusty bread.