This summer was the Summer of Shakshuka.
It started on a whim (“hmmm…never made that before…”) and turned into an all-out obsession (“must make more!”). Months later, my infatuation is still going strong and even though I’m no longer using tomatoes from my garden, I have happily discovered it still tastes great using high quality canned tomatoes.
If you’re not familiar, shakshuka is a spicy stewed tomato dish, usually made with onions, chilies and cumin. Most versions boast a simmered-to-perfection egg and the best versions (in my opinion) also include a nice salty cheese. While the egg certainly makes it seem more “breakfast-y,” this one-pot wonder makes a great lunch or dinner as well.
It’s also a fun dish to play around with, adding or subtracting ingredients depending on what’s in season — or by what’s in your fridge. My favorite batches this summer included sautéed zucchini and summer squash and lots of kale. I’ve even thrown cooked farro or quinoa in at the end to bulk it up.
It’s funny to think I have eaten shakshuka for years but somehow never bothered to make it at home. I have no idea why considering how much I’ve always enjoyed it — and how easy it is to throw together.
But no matter, I have the recipe on mental lock-down now and could whip this up in my sleep!
And while it certainly was perfect for summer’s “I forgot to plan dinner” emergencies, I have a feeling it’s not leaving my menu rotation anytime soon. And if you’ve never made it before, now is the perfect time. I think it’s the ultimate warm-you-up dish for chilly autumn mornings or cold and dreary December nights.
Whatever you do, just make sure you make it spicy — the heat is really what makes this stand out.
makes about 4-6 servings
- Olive oil, as needed
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 chile (I liked Fresno chiles quite a bit in this) — deseeded and minced
- 1 yellow onion — small diced
- 1 yellow or red pepper — small diced
- 2 medium summer squash/zucchini — small diced (optional)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp paprika — either smoked or sweet
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2-28 oz cans of peeled whole tomatoes (squish with your hands to break apart or sub already diced tomatoes)
- A handful or two of pretty cherry or pear tomatoes (optional)
- 1 TB tomato paste
- 1-2 bunches kale — blanched and chopped (or sub fresh spinach or baby kale)
- 6 oz feta, crumbled
- 4-6 eggs
In a large skillet or dutch oven, start by heating up some olive oil and sautéing the first three ingredients. After the onions have slightly softened, added the pepper and zucchini (if using). Let cook for 5-8 minutes or until vegetables are starting to get tender. Season well with salt and pepper.
Add spices, cooking until toasted and fragrant.
Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer until liquid is reduced and all vegetables are soft, about 10-12 minutes.
Add greens (if using) and half of cheese and the handful of fresh cherry or pear tomatoes (if using).
Now at this point you can stop and cool down for later use. I usually make the recipe through this point and then I have lunch/dinner for the rest of the week.
Once you’re ready to eat, heat it up and make a well for the egg (or for the 4-6 eggs if you’re making it for a group). Season eggs with salt and pepper and cover, allowing to simmer in the sauce until done (cook to your preference, checking often so you don’t overcook it).
Top with remaining feta. Dig in!