You guys know all about shakshuka, right? In this happily Ottolenghi– and Zahav-forward world, I’d like to think that you do. But sometimes I’m surprised by what other people’s worlds look like. (Let’s just say 2016 taught me that sometimes I’m surprised and sometimes I’m VERY surprised, and those are about the only two options.)
So maybe you don’t know from shakshuka. Let’s fix that. (And if you already know all about it, may I recommend my version, which is very easy and not too spicy.)
Shakshuka originates from northern Africa and is now served in various forms in many Middle Eastern countries and cultures, including Palestine and Israel. As is true of many Middle Eastern foods, it’s a real indication of historic migration and also, I like to think, of how similar we all are despite the many ways in which we sometimes put our differences first.
Oh, 2016. Why does every food blog post need to include a civics lesson? It does, though.
Chez Cope, we don’t always eat shakshuka, but when we do, we usually eat it for dinner. That said, it makes a fabulous brunch or breakfast too. If you want to get a head start, you can make the sauce well ahead of time and just reheat it to a simmer before dropping the eggs in.
That’s all for now. Talk to you soon.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 26.6-ounce box chopped tomatoes
- 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 8 eggs
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Crusty bread or pita for serving
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy 12-inch frying pan with tall sides and a lid (which you'll use later). Add onion and garlic along with a good pinch of the salt and some pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until somewhat tender. Add garlic, cumin, paprika and pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently, two minutes more. Add tomatoes and remaining salt and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in feta.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and, working one at a time, use a spoon to make a small well for each egg and crack egg into it. Cover pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until whites are set.* Remove from heat and sprinkle with parsley and more salt and pepper. Serve with crusty bread or pita.
- * Alternatively, you can cook this dish in a 400°F oven from this point forward. The eggs should set in 10-ish minutes there, too, maybe a little less. Start checking at the 5 minute mark.
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