Shakshuka

Does anyone else go to bed early because you just can’t wait for breakfast in the morning? Me too, guys. Me too.

I’ve been really diggin’ Middle Eastern cuisine lately, and shakshuka is something that has been on rotation in my kitchen for a while now. It is basically eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce served with crusty bread for dipping. And I’m not mad about anything that I can dip into.

There are many places where shakshuka can be found on every corner, and one that has been inspiring me lately is Israel. Does anyone want to go with me?? I’m patiently waiting for the school year to be over so I can hop on a plane and land in Tel Aviv where I will devour all of the deliciousness that derives from this up and coming city.

Shakshuka is so simple and easy. It’s onions and bell pepper, sauteed with garlic and traditional middle-eastern spices, like cumin, coriander, paprika and cayenne, and simmered in a tomato sauce. Make a few wells in the sauce, crack a few eggs, let them cook to your liking and you have breakfast. Or brunch. Or lunch or dinner. Good for a friendly gathering, too. You can’t limit shakshuka…Don’t even try.

Did I mention that all of this delightfulness is made in ONE cast iron pan. Yup. I love an easy clean.

Toppings: You know I’m the topping queen. If I can find more food to put onto a dish full of food than I’m a happy girl. I like to add creamy avocado slices, a crusty sourdough bread for dipping, fresh parsley and flaky sea salt on top of my shak. Feta is also a badass addition.

Shakshuka

Servings: 3-4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 of an onion, diced
  • 1/2 of a red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes (with their liquid)
  • 4 large eggs
  • salt
  • fresh black pepper
  • parsley
  • avocado (optional)
  • toasted, crusty bread (I prefer sourdough), for dipping

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet. Add the onion and saute for a minute. Add the bell pepper and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, or until onion starts becoming translucent and just slightly browned around the edges.
  2. Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, coriander and cayenne. Toast until fragrant, about one minute.
  3. Pour in the crushed and diced tomatoes, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes. The sauce will lose a lot of its water content and it will thicken up.
  4. Make 4 wells in the sauce and crack an egg into each one. Turn the burner down to medium-low, cover the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until eggs are cooked to your liking.
  5. Turn heat off and sprinkle with fresh parsley, a few more grinds of pepper and flaky sea salt. Add avocado slices and eat with your favourite crusty bread.

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