Middle Eastern cuisine is one of my all-time favorites. I just can’t get enough of the vibrant spices and fresh herbs, the great combination of vegetables, and the overall nourishing feeling each dish lends.
Shakshuka (or Shakshouka) is an Israeli dish that has been gaining popularity in the U.S. over the last few years, and for good reason; it’s simple to prepare, full of flavor, and so much fun to enjoy outside of the usual breakfast – or any meal – rotational.
Shakshuka is basically just a stew of well-seasoned tomatoes and peppers with poached eggs. It’s really simple and unbelievably delicious.
I love to serve mine with crusty olive bread for dipping and scooping, plenty of feta, and fresh herbs. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention, I make mine a little differently by adding a smidge of harissa paste for a little extra depth with spice.
If you’re unfamiliar with Harissa, it’s a North African blend of spices included caraway, coriander, and various chiles. It has a bit of a kick, and can be found as a dry spice blend or a paste. If you’re absolutely not a spicy foods fan, feel free to omit this ingredient from the recipe below. It will still taste great!
One important thing to note when making Shakshuka is the cooking vessel. Typically, it’s best to prepare shakshuka in an oven-safe, heavy bottom pan, like cast iron, to avoid burning the delicate spices and tomatoes while the eggs poach.
I love these single-serve cast iron cassoulets by Staub because whether you’re serving them as individual portions or encouraging two people to share, it gives each diner a chance to garnish, dip, and scoop right out of the pan to their heart’s content.
No need to be polite here! Just roll up your sleeves and enjoy this delicious Middle Eastern treat around the table with friends and family.
- 1 tbsp oil or butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, cleaned and diced
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp harissa paste
- 2 tsp cumin
- .25 tsp chili powder
- 28 oz can whole peeled roasted tomatoes
- 4 eggs
- .25 tsp salt
- .25 tsp pepper
- 6 oz feta in brine, drained, crumbled and portioned in half
- Handful cilantro and parsley to garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a deep heavy bottom, oven-safe pan (such as cast iron), heat oil over medium heat and cook onion and pepper for about 10-15 minutes until extremely aromatic and soft. Add garlic and cook for another minute, stirring frequently.
- Add all of the spices and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute. Pour in the tomatoes and using a wooden spoon, crush them until they are in small pieces and sauce-like.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for about 10 more minutes. Careful not to let the bottom burn.
- Using a wooden spoon, mix in the first half of feta. Then, create 4 small wells for the eggs. Crack each egg into a well then season with salt and pepper. Place in the preheated oven and cook for about 8 minutes until the eggs have reach a desired level of doneness.
- Serve hot and garnish with cilantro and parsley mixture, remaining feta, and crusty bread. Enjoy!