Shakshuka is a main staple in Israel and usually eaten with pita or good bread. There are debates where it originated, but no debate over how good it is, or how healthy and fresh the dish is.
Shakshuka, a type of Middle Eastern tomato ragu with peppers, cumin, garlic, and topped with eggs – it’s secret is ripe sweet tomatoes and vibrant cumin. Served with bread or pita makes for a perfect breakfast or lunch.
As well, you can vary the types of peppers and fresh vegetables. Just be sure to keep the tomatoes at least seventy percent of the mix. And if great tomatoes are not available, grab a 28 oz can of Italian San Marzano seedless tomatoes. I cannot emphasize how important quality vegetables are for this dish. But, I’ve as many times as anyone else compromised, adjusted the seasoning, added a bit more oil, perhaps some paprika, and even dried herbs when the vegetables are not up to standard.
When doing variations, I’ve added eggplant, grated squash, and the list goes on. But it’s a childhood favorite to make it as this recipe suggests.
Bake or find some great artisan bread. You know, the ones with the hard crust. The rich flavor of the crust go well with the silky sauce and eggs.
Enjoy and let us know what your secret is for this dish. I hear it has ignited a few marriages, spanned a couple children, been sold for a birthright…. Oh wait, that was Essah and lentil soup? Well, this might have been too.
Breakfast or Lunch
|Ripe Tomatoes, chopped small|
Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped
Jalapeño Pepper, diced
*Canned San Marzano Tomatoes & sauce
|5 medium |
Prepare the vegetables for cooking by chopping, and dicing, and set each item aside separately or o a platter separated. You can remove the tomato skins if you like, but we like the skins. *For the canned tomatoes, see the lable below for purchasing suggestions, but as well, measure 2 cups from a 28 oz can, making sure you include plenty of sauce with the whole tomatoes. Chop the tomatoes in the sauce and set aside your 2 cups.
|Olive Oil |
Cumin or (a dash of nutmeg)
Salt and pepper
|1/4 cup |
1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon
In a large skillet on medium-high heat, add olive oil, and first, saute the peppers and onions for about 3 minutes – four minutes depending on how soft you prefer your peppers. Then add the jalapeño, garlic, and fresh tomatoes, cumin, brown sugar, salt, and pepper, continuing to sauté for another 2-3 minutes until the Shakshuka sauce begins to simmer. Add the canned tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
If the tomatoes cook too long they will separate and turn watery. Some add a bit of tomato paste as tomatoes vary.
The picture here shows a watery sauce, it’s delicious, but once you’ve learned to make the sauce as it’s intended, you’ll appreciate the difference. But in now ways will anyone want to throw this batch out. I will say, watery usually means a tart after taste, so if your tomatoes are watery, add a teaspoon more brown sugar and a touch more olive oil to balance it out.
*Whole peeled and seeded San Marzano Tomatoes are best. The idea is to find a canned tomato with low acidity, the San Marzano’s coveted firm pulp, and ripe sweet tomato flavor Most canned tomatoes in the US are tart and have a thin liquid base.
Cilantro or parsley
Salt and pepper
While the Shakshuka sauce is still hot, make holes in the sauce with a spoon and crack the eggs in each hole. I make the holes as I crack each egg or the holes will fill back in quickly. Cover and cook the eggs to the desired doneness of yolks.
Top with chopped cilantro or parsley with a light seasoning of salt and pepper over the eggs.
Here is a good example of a perfectly cooked egg. It’s not a poached texture, it’s in between. The yolk still runs a little, but the egg is firm.
Many though love a hard egg. It’s all good. Enjoy!
For brunch ideas, the Chili Lime Shrimp recipe goes well with Shakshuka. Successful menus, similar to wine paring should be planned out with items that complement each other. Below is a nice wine pairing for brunches and I’d love to hear wine suggestions. I’ve listed French wines, but Domestic are quite popular as well.
- $24 -French, Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuisse 2018
- $16 -French, Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuisse
- $32 – French, Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2018
- Healthline, Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, RDN (Ice), Tomatoes 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits