Simple Shakshuka for Weekend Brunch
There’s something special—even exotic—about starting off your morning with a piping hot, brightly colored plate of shakshuka, a Middle Eastern egg dish that’s packed with flavor and, usually, a lot of spice! The antioxidant-rich tomatoes, coupled with the warming properties of the hot pepper, make it a nutritious pick that’ll perk up your taste buds and the rest of you with every savory bite. And don’t forget the eggs, which contain heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids and are a great source of iron, protein, and vitamins A, D, and K.
What I love about shakshuka is that the dish lets you be creative and get liberal with your favorite ingredients. Shakshuka literally means “all mixed up” in Hebrew, and that’s part of the fun of making it. If you prefer your eggs poached to over-easy, go ahead! If you want extra onion, throw it in! For those that relish a real spicy kick, add a few more slices of hot pepper to the mix, and if you can’t take the heat, just leave them out. The choice is yours!
I’ve been known to mix in everything from marinated roasted eggplant to garlicky mushrooms, and after it’s all cooked up, I sometimes scoop a dollop of humus or tahini into the tomato base to make it creamier and tone down the heat. Plus, the sauce is just made for dipping, so consider soaking up the medley of rich flavors with whole wheat pita, or chickpea-flour laffa bread for a gluten-free choice.
- 2 tsp of olive oil (or grapeseed oil, according to preference)
- 1-2 jalapeno or Serrano peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 sweet red pepper, sliced
- 1/2 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
- 2 tsp paprika
- One 28-oz can of whole-peeled organic tomatoes in juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3-4 organic free-range eggs (with or without the yolk)
- 1-2 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Whole wheat pita or laffa, warmed (optional)
- Heat the oil in your skillet and add hot peppers, red pepper, and onion. Sauté on medium heat for 3-5 minutes, until the onion turns golden brown and the peppers soften. Add the garlic and paprika and cook for one more minute.
- Reduce heat to low. Add the tomatoes with their juice and break up the sauce with your spatula. Let it simmer for about 8 to 10 minutes, until sauce has slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
- Crack each egg on top of the sauce, one at a time, so that they’re evenly distributed across the skillet. Allow the eggs to set and cook over-easy on top of the sauce for about 10 to 15 minutes. Check on the shakshuka while it cooks to make sure the eggs don’t get overdone and the sauce doesn’t burn. Garnish with fresh cilantro and parsley, and serve with the bread of your choice.
What’s your favorite way to liven up egg dishes? Share with us in the comments below, or tweet us @nutritionschool!