Shake it up with Shakshuka!

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Not long ago, my mom and I spent a weekend in New York. In between the many museums, parks and restaurants we went to, we also spent some time in one of our favorite places: a bookstore! While she loves to skim through recent books, I always run to the cookbooks section. That time, I stumbled upon Ottolenghi’s Plenty a vegetable cookbook by Yotham Ottolenghi, a London based chef renowned for his Mediterranean and North African dishes. One of his recipes immediately caught my eye: his Shakshuka! I gues what first attracted me was its name. Shak-shu-ka. Such a fun name! The second thing that I liked was that it had eggs, and I’m always on the lookout for new ways to cook eggs. Before I even got the chance to try it, I went out for brunch back in Philadelphia and the café had Shakshuka too! I saw it as a sign that I needed to dive in. So I ordered it, liked it, then cooked it at home, and loved it! I slightly adapted his recipe and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Bon appétit!

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Prep time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes (I use trader joe’s  “Fire Roasted with Jalapenos”)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • agave nectar (or a pinch of sugar)
  • a bunch of fresh thyme
  • a bunch of fresh parsley
  • a pinch of ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Green pepper tabasco (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat up the olive oil in a skillet. Add the sliced onion, salt, and let it cook on high heat until brown. Next, add the sliced yellow bell pepper, drizzle of agave nectar, thyme, parsley, and a pinch of ground cumin and let it cook for another 10 minutes until golden brown. Add a splash of water and let it evaporate to further soften and caramelize the vegetables.
  2. Next, add the diced tomatoes, lower the heat and let it simmer until it slightly thickens.
  3. Make two “holes” in the tomato and pepper base, and crack the eggs in them. Cover and let it cook until the eggs are set, about 6 minutes. They will be runny and delicious with the sauce. Adjust the seasoning, drizzle with Tabasco if you like it extra spicy, and serve in the skillet, along with warm pita bread!
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