Whether you’re looking for a new breakfast idea or are fond of serving breakfast for dinner, shakshuka fits the bill. Instead of calling the dish shakshuka you can also just call it “Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce” because that’s exactly what this straightforward but surprisingly delicious meal is.
Especially popular in Israel, shakshuka is loved around the world for its comforting flavor and simple preparation. Although the sauce is often sopped up with pita bread, it’s thick enough that you can skip the bread and eat it with a spoon (or spread extra sauce over a hunk of grilled meat for a really fantastic meal.)
Most recipes for shakshuka call for canned (or boxed) tomatoes, but you shouldn’t hesitate to use plump, super-ripe fresh tomatoes if you can find them. Tomatoes are the main ingredient in shakshuka and some say that little else, besides eggs and garlic, should be added. However, this version leans in the direction of spicing things up with more flavor and variety. Onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, cumin and paprika make the meal more than just a pot of simmered tomatoes.
The eggs are added at the end and then cooked until just set. The contrasting flavors and textures in your bowl – creamy, soft eggs swimming in thick, spicy sauce – is what shakshuka is all about.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 to 3 jalapeno peppers, (depending on how spicy you like it) seeded and finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 1 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 28-ounces whole peeled tomatoes in their juice or 2 pounds fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 4 to 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
- Optional: crumbled feta cheese
- Salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a deep skillet. Add peppers and onion and sauté until onion is lightly browned, about five minutes.
Add garlic, cumin and paprika and sauté one minute more.
Add tomatoes. Break them apart with a large spoon or spatula as they cook. Reduce heat slightly and simmer 15-20 minutes (longer if tomatoes are fresh), stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened and most of the liquid is gone. Add salt to taste.
Crack the eggs evenly around the skillet. Place the skillet in the oven and cook until the egg whites are set, 6-8 minutes.
Garnish with parsley (and feta). Serve warm.
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