Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a North African vegetarian dish, tomato based, nicely spiced – spices that include harissa paste. Harissa paste incorporates red chile pepper, red pepper, salt, vinegar, garlic and olive oil, and a little goes a long way. You can make your own mix of harissa, but easier to head to your supermarket and the ethnic food section (for those of you in British Columbia, harissa paste is available at Thrifty’s.)
Here is a recipe for shakshuka …

Ingredients:

  • 1 large red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons diced jalapeño pepper
  • 2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 28 ounce can of plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 100 grams crumpled feta cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish

Putting it together:

In a 10 inch cast iron pan heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the peppers and onion and cook slowly for 15 minutes until quite soft. Add the garlic, cumin, paprika and coriander, stir well, and cook for another couple of minutes.
Mix in the canned tomatoes, (I prefer plum), chop them up and simmer until the mixture thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes; while your oven is heating to 375 degrees F.

Take two thirds of the feta and the harissa and add to the tomato mixture. Taste and add salt if needed.

With the skillet off the heat, use a spoon to make a well in the mixture,
With due care, crack an egg into the well, then repeat with each egg.
Put the skillet in the oven, then bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the eggs are set.

It makes for a pretty dish, but you have to like tomatoes: And, it is a great way to have eggs for dinner. Serve in a bowl with fresh bread (you can ladle over slices of bread or simply dip in).