Shakshuka: Veggies for Breakfast
Until about a year ago, my idea of veggies for breakfast would have been salsa in my breakfast burrito, fried potatoes with onions, or the tomato juice and celery in a Bloody Mary. Now … though I still love all those options … I am finding some pretty amazing ways to incorporate those good vitamins into my breakfast: smoothies with spinach or kale, avocado toast and this Shakshuka recipe.
what is shakshuka?
Shakshuka recipes originate from Israel, the Middle East and North Africa. Served any time of day, this hearty meal of eggs poached in a stewed tomato, onion, garlic and pepper base is as impressive as it is delicious. Cumin is an integral part of the flavor and a sprinkle of goat (or feta) cheese and olives top off the dish perfectly.
After recently seeing Shakshuka recipes featured in food magazines, Instagram posts and on my favorite Food Network show, Chopped, curiosity had me cornered. Then, I went on a tour of an egg farm here in Iowa with the Iowa Food and Family Project. Also on the tour was my friend, Shannon Latham, who asked if I’d like to write a newsletter article for her family’s business, Latham Hi-Tech Seeds. She wanted to include an egg recipe that was unique. I don’t believe in coincidences. It was time to investigate Shakshuka.
Me? runny eggs?
As you may or may not (yet) know, I am not a fan of runny eggs. In fact, I’m not a fan of any egg dish where the white and the yolk are separate. I hate this. I want to enjoy every single food as much as everyone else, so I’m working on it. It is important to me to keep trying different versions, different recipes, that will maybe help me overcome my aversions (i.e. hatred).
Progress is being made. This recipe is a good step in the right direction. Once I get past the actual breaking of the egg and chop that baby up and mix it into those spiced tomatoes, I can actually enjoy it!
Whether you love runny eggs or, like me, run from them (no pun intended), this recipe is worth a try. Did I mention you should eat it with warm naan or a crusty loaf of bread?
I got you now, don’t I?
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup onion diced
- 1 cup green or red bell pepper diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 28-ounce can stewed or diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup sliced olives optional
- 6 large eggs
- Salt and Pepper
- Feta or goat cheese optional
- Fresh cilantro or parsley or both
- Fresh lemon wedges optional
- Warm pita naan or other favorite bread
- In a large skillet, sauté onions and peppers in olive oil over medium heat until soft (6-8 minutes). Add garlic and spices and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until sauce reached a thick consistency. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper as needed.
- While the sauce is cooking, crack each egg into its own small bowl. When sauce is thick and hot, use a large spoon or ladle to make indents, or “wells”, in the sauce and pour one egg in each well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and continue cooking for 5-8 minutes or until the eggs are cooked as desired (less time for soft egg yolks and more for firm yolks).
- Remove from heat and serve with fresh herbs, cheese, lemon wedges and warm bread.