Shakshuka (Eggs Nested in Summer Vegetables) Recipe

Such familiar ingredients, such a surprising – and surprisingly tasty – quick and easy breakfast or quick supper recipe. Shakshuka is a dish from North Africa (Tunisia, Algeria) that's become a mainstay healthy meal in Israel – and now at my house and with any luck, yours too!

Shakshuka (Eggs Nested in Summer Vegetables)
Easy Summer Recipes
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First, apologies to all the guys who handily, if not altogether happily, run a vacuum cleaner, load a washing machine and clean the kitchen. But we all know the stories of men who "botch" household jobs so easy it seems to be intentional. We women, suckers that we are, throw up our hands and take them back over.

Me, I'm taking a cue from the men when it comes to breakfast.

One of the great luxuries of my life, one of the great pleasures, is sitting down most weekend mornings to a carefully crafted breakfast. The creative cook uses the same ingredients week-in and week-out: eggs, vegetables (lots of vegetables!), fresh salsa, tortillas, a little cheese and fresh herbs, bacon or sausage, some times bacon "and" sausage! But the breakfasts are never the same –except always good, always beautiful – and rarely repeatable.

So I've given up cooking breakfast on the weekends, happy to act as sous chef, emptying the dishwasher and setting the table. Nice, eh?!

But some times, truth be told, I miss cooking breakfast. My solution? Breakfast for supper!

WHAT IS SHAKSHUKA (also spelled SHAKSHOUKA)? For such simple, familiar ingredients, Shakshuka is a surprise, the peppers and tomatoes turn soft and almost sweet. The chile adds more flavor than heat, even a small smidgin of cumin turns the mixture dark and toasty. The eggs poach in the hot vegetable mixture, the whites firm, the yolks golden-gooey. The dish originates in North Africa, in Algeria or Tunisia but has become a signature dish in Israel.

ALANNA's TIPS For a super-fast make-ahead breakfast for one or two or even a small crowd, cook the vegetable mixture a day or two ahead of time. Shakshuka would make a great hearty but healthy campfire breakfast! This recipe uses fresh tomatoes – aren't we so sad when the season ends, so thrilled when it reopens?!! – but Roma tomatoes or canned tomatoes would work in the winter. Aim for a texture that's moist but not liquid, do cook off most of the liquid before adding the eggs. While not traditional, Shakshuka is peasant food so go ahead, when the garden is profligate, add small bites of okra, sweet corn, zucchini, tomatillo; just be sure to get enough tomato liquid. For something jaw-droppingly good, place a thin layer of fresh mozzarella under or over the eggs before they cook.

SHAKSHUKA
(EGGS NESTED in SUMMER VEGETABLES)

Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Makes about 4 cups cooked vegetables to serve 4
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño chile, minced or 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 3 or 4 medium summer tomatoes (30 ounces canned diced tomatoes), chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (don't skip)
  • Salt & pepper to taste (none may be needed)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (don't skip)
  • 4 large eggs
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
    OPTIONAL FINISHING TOUCHES
  • "Something creamy" like yogurt, cottage cheese or feta crumbles
  • "Something cool" for contrast, diced tomato or cucumber or hummus
  • "Something to sop up the juices" like pita bread or good bread

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium, add onion and pepper, saut´e until beginning to soften. Add jalapeño and garlic, cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, cumin and salt and pepper if using. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, then uncover and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes until liquid is reduced (some liquid is still good). Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.

Reduce heat to low. With the back of a spoon, shape four "nests" into the vegetables, then slip an egg into each nest. Cover and let cook for 5 - 10 minutes until whites are set. (Note, I've made this in three kitchens and in two of them, had to put the skillet under the broiler to finish cooking the eggs. You want the whites firm, the centers soft and gooey.)

To serve, sprinkle with parsley. If you like, serve plain or with "something creamy" or "something cool" or "something to sop up the juices".

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving (assumes 4), Vegetables Only/With Large Egg: 83/155 Calories; 1/6g Tot Fat; 0/2g Sat Fat; 0/211mg Cholesterol; 16/86mg Sodium; 16/17g Carb; 4g Fiber; 9g Sugar; 3/9g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 1/2.5 & WW Points Plus 2/4.
Another hit from Vegetarian Times, my new favorite food magazine, every issue has at least one recipe which fits my healthy-fresh sensibility, just check which recipes I've made so far. Shakshuka was featured on the cover of the June 2012 "Mediterranean" issue and in an article on Israeli breakfasts, all healthy and vegetable-centric. I've made it all summer long.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

This Week, Years Past 2002 - 2011

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Last Week, Elsewhere

Sweet Potato Hash with Poached Eggs & Spicy Hollandaise Sauce from With Love Catering (for the Rep Cafe)
~ more St. Louis Restaurant Recipes ~
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More "Breakfast for Supper" or "Just Breakfast" Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Mexican Gashouse Eggs French Scrambled Eggs Ratatouille Omelettes

More Recipes for Peppers & Tomatoes


~ How to Roast Peppers in the Oven ~
~ Peperonata with Potatoes ~
~ Stuffed Peppers ~
~ more pepper recipes ~

~ Never Take a Good Tomato for Granted ~
(Twelve Favorite Tomato Recipes)
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~ Fire-Charred Tomatoes ~
~ Tomato Gazpacho ~
~ more tomato recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture, my food blog

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AH-ha! Found the place for comments! What a great breakfast idea! Sounds like something I might make with whatever I have in the fridge anyway... and looks scrumptious. Appreciate the new learning!
:)
V
 
Another tasty meal thanks to Kitchen Parade! We made this for lunch today and it was delicious. I think my pan is a little large as my eggs escaped the (slightly shallow) wells I had made. It was still super yummy though!
 
I fell for shakshouka in Israel back in June, and have made it several times for leisurely breakfasts since then. K. loves it - and we use eggs from our own chicken, of course ;)
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna