We have a well-documented love affair with breakfast food (see here and here) but we realized it might be time to branch out and try a savory recipe. Enter shakshuka, a Tunisian dish of peppers, onions, tomatoes, and eggs, whose popularity is slowly making its way stateside (Example A being Jack’s Wife Freda‘s Green Shakshuka– our go-to order for brunch). This version, which we found in Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s terrific cookbook Jerusalem, is light enough for the hot summer days ahead, as well as easy enough to make for a weekend breakfast together. And if you’re feeling inspired to stock up on harissa and tahini, Sahadi’s in Brooklyn Heights is an iconic Middle Eastern grocery store whose aisles are packed with all sorts of treasures like Turkish coffee and hard-to-find spices. We’ve come to love our shakshuka served with some good bread and tahini, chopped parsley, and a dollop of yogurt on the side.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp harissa
2 tsp tomato paste
2 large red peppers, cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
5 large, very ripe tomatoes, chopped (5 cups); canned are also fine
4 large free-range eggs, plus 4 egg yolks
1/2 cup labneh or thick yogurt
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the harissa, tomato paste, peppers, garlic, cumin, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Stir and cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes to allow the peppers to soften. Add the tomatoes, bring to a gentle simmer, and cook for a further 10 minutes until you have quite a thick sauce. Taste for seasoning.
Make 8 little dips in the sauce. Gently break the eggs and carefully pour each into its own dip. Do the same with the yolks. Use a fork to swirl the egg whites a little bit with the sauce, taking care not to the break the yolks. Simmer gently for 8-10 minutes, until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny (you can cover the pan with a lid if you wish to hasten the process). Remove from the heat, leave for a couple of minutes to settle, then spoon into individual plates and serve with labneh or yogurt.
Illustration by Kate Sexton
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