Recipe Courtesy of Love & Lemons
Have you ever tried shakshuka? In this recipe, eggs are poached in a spicy, spinach-flecked tomato sauce. It’s a nourishing, delicious dinner or brunch!
In her cookbook Sababa, Adeena Sussman writes that shakshuka originated as a breakfast for workers, who would scoop the eggs and sauce into pita bread for a convenient handheld breakfast. It’s North African in origin (Adeena says that the name comes from the Tunisian word for “shaken up”), but it’s now popular throughout the Middle East.
My recipe starts with a bold tomato and red pepper sauce that’s spiced with harissa, cumin, paprika, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Then, chopped fresh spinach joins the mix, adding gorgeous flecks of green. Finally, gently poached eggs nestle into the sauce. It’s rich, flavorful, and oh-so-good. Even though shakshuka is a traditional breakfast food, you could just as easily enjoy this recipe for a brunch or weeknight dinner.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons harissa paste*, see note
- 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
- 3 to 5 eggs
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1 avocado, diced
- Microgreens for garnish, optional
- Toasted bread, for serving
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a 12-inch lidded stainless steel or enamel-coated cast-iron skillet. Add the onion, red pepper, salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic, paprika, cumin, and cayenne, if using. Stir and let cook for about 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and harissa paste. Simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce is thickened.
- Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Make 3 to 5 wells in the sauce and crack in the eggs. Cover and cook until the eggs are set, 5 to 8 minutes. The timing will depend on how runny you like your egg yolks.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with the feta, parsley, avocado, and microgreens, if using. Serve with toasted bread for scooping.
Image Courtesy of Love & Lemons