There was a time, only a few months ago, when shakshuka wasn’t part of my cooking rotation.
I’d come across these eggs, baked with Moroccan or Tunisian ingredients – usually a mix of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, and sometimes with some additional spice (e.g. harissa) and/or cheese (e.g. feta). Smitten Kitchen has a version, the New York Times has one too, David Lebovitz – well, of course, he’s based in Paris, a city that thrives on North African food. The Italians even have a version, called “Eggs in Purgatory”. Shakshuka is – as my 102-year-old grandmother would say – all the rage. Check out Feed Feed where your search for shakshuka will deliver nearly 200 results. That’s a lot of spicy eggs.
Once you’ve made shakshuka – or any kind of spicy baked egg dish, you’ll see why it’s become so popular.
1. It’s super simple, taking only minutes to cook…just a little more tim than it would take to remove the dreaded Eggo from the freezer, pop it into the toaster, and be doused in maple syrup.
2. It’s endlessly adaptable….this version of shakshuka has barely any tomato – and virtually no sauce. The eggs are cooked in a bed of onion and green pepper, and then topped with whatever ingredients I had available in the fridge. Add this dish to the arsenal of fridge dumping meals that includes fried rice and vegetarian lasagna. And don’t we all need a few more fridge dumping meals in our lives? Your wilting vegetables would clearly prefer a spicy shakshuka fate than a trip to the garbage can.
3. It’s delicious. Take my word for it. Or Lauren’s. I’m not one to share someone’s egg dish, particularly if it includes runny yolks and has been eaten straight from the pan…but Lauren asked for some eggs when I was three quarters through my meal, yolk carnage and all. And she loved every bite. Make sure to have some crusty bread on hand for the final sweep of the pan.
And let’s talk about garnish. Because garnish, I’m slowly realizing, is the most important part of a dish. We all know that we eat with our eyes, so why not give your dish a sexy red dress rather than a T-shirt and jeans. Flaked Maldon salt, green harissa, sea salted yogurt, and chili powder, oh my! Clearly extras – this dish is presentable without – but don’t they turn this dish from good to great? Don’t ask my husband about garnishes. In his opinion, they slow down meal delivery and add little to the finished product.
And that’s why he doesn’t have a food blog.
So enjoy green shakshuka. Riff on it, switch up your garnishes, inhale it alone or with company. All the best, and happy new year!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ yellow onion, sliced
- 1 green pepper, sliced (reserving a few for plating)
- 3 large organic eggs
- ½ avocado, sliced
- 2 tablespoons of halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon sea salt savory yogurt (e.g. Sohha) or plain Greek yogurt seasoned with a touch of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons green harissa (e.g. Mina); you can use red harissa if you don’t have the green variety on hand
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A few torn cilantro leaves
- Crusty bread
- In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat and then add the olive oil.
- Add the onions and green peppers and sauté for a few minutes until softened.
- While the onions and peppers are sautéing, crack the eggs into a dish, making sure to keep the yolks intact.
- When the vegetables have softened, turn the heat down to medium and make three indentations for the eggs, and slowly, add an egg into each indentation.
- Cover the pan and cook the eggs for three minutes and check the whites – if they’re still looking clear on top, add the lid and cook for another minute more.
- When the eggs are ready, the whites should be just set, and if you jiggle the pan, the eggs should still be a little wobbly.
- When ready to serve, take the pan off the heat and add the remainder of the garnishes: the avocado, the cherry tomatoes, and the reserved green pepper strips.
- Dollop the savory yogurt and green harissa over the top, sprinkle the chili pepper, and then a little more flaked salt (e.g. Maldon) and pepper to taste. Scatter the cilantro leaves on top to finish the dish.
- Eat with crusty bread for dipping.