Shakshuka!: A Favorite Recipe for the Season of Abundance

If your garden is anything at all like mine, then you find yourself in a familiar and lovely conundrum every September: What am I going to do with all of these tomatoes? And while you have canned and frozen and sauced your way through the abundance, you are still up to your ears in the harvest. In fact, sometimes I am so intent upon putting tomatoes up for the Winter that I forget to slow down and enjoy them in their freshest and most precious state.

Well whether you have a garden full, or a bowl full, here is a recipe to do your tomatoes justice. What’s more, as you will see, this recipe is suitable for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s that good, that versatile, and remarkably simple. Enjoy!

Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner, Shakshuka is a crowd pleaser, and the perfect place to celebrate an abundance of tomatoes

Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner, Shakshuka is a crowd pleaser, and the perfect place to celebrate an abundance of tomatoes

I first learned about Shakshuka, a middle eastern specialty, in Argentina of all places. During a year long ramble through South America, I met many Israelis along the way. They were incredibly passionate about food. And while they were mildly interested in asado, empanadas, and other local fare, their loyalty to Israeli cuisine was undeniable. Sometimes it seemed to me that their entire journeys through Latin America were carefully planned around the most reliable hummus spots. Shakshuka, though less well known than hummus, was the meal that really captured my heart and I am so happy to share it now with you.

Make shakshuka with  any  fresh tomatoes from your garden, but I prefer plum and roma types because of their lower water content

Make shakshuka with any fresh tomatoes from your garden, but I prefer plum and roma types because of their lower water content

Fresh tomatoes, high quality eggs, and a loaf of rustic bread are the essential ingredients in this Summer comfort, so a mild September day is the perfect time to make Shakshuka. And as I learned from many fellow travelers, this is a one pot meal that is meant to be leaned over, dipped into, and shared and savored together. Enjoy!


Shakshuka

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil

  • 5 Anaheim chiles or 3 Jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped

  • 1 small Onion, chopped

  • 6 cloves Garlic, crushed and sliced

  • 1 tsp ground Cumin

  • 1 Tbsp Paprika

  • 3# Fresh Tomatoes (preferably plum or roma) halved or quartered

  • Salt, to taste

  • 6 Eggs

  • 1/2 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled

  • 1 Tbsp flat leaf Parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 loaf fresh Rustic Bread

This recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen (www.smittenkitchen.com)

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in large skillet or crock pot over medium high heat. Add chiles and onion and cook, stirring occasionally until soft. About 6 minutes.

  2. Add garlic, cumin, and paprika, until garlic is soft. About 2 more minutes.

  3. Put tomatoes into a medium bowl and crush with your hands. Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid to skillet or dutch oven, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened. 15-30 minutes depending on moisture. Season sauce with salt.

  4. Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet or dutch oven and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture to ensure poaching.

  5. Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley and serve with thick sliced toasted bread as your spoon!