by Hannah Fordin

Shakshuka is one of my favorite lazy breakfasts. It can be adapted to include seasonal vegetables like squash or eggplant and is nearly impossible to mess up. The key is cooking low and slow with lots of spices.

I usually break this out when I’m up early on a Sunday morning, getting to work before my partner has woken up. I turn on my favorite podcast, make some coffee, and before I know it our apartment is filled with the warm smell of paprika. Since I’m usually just cooking for two, my small Le Creuset dutch oven is the perfect size for this recipe, its even heat and heavy lid cook both the stew and eggs perfectly. Plus second helpings (which are inevitable) stay warm in the cast iron, keeping in the heat for when we’re ready to eat more.

My shakshuka recipe is inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s version in his book Jerusalem.

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Ingredients:
1 lb can whole tomatoes
1 bundle of kale, coarsely chopped
1 bundle of scallions, chopped
1 bell pepper, diced
1 spicy pepper (whatever is in season, I used a red chili), cut thinly
1 Tablespoon maple syrup or honey
4-6 eggs (depending on how many you’re feeding)
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Spices to taste:
Smoked Paprika
Asafoetida
Cumin
Coriander
Turmeric
Sea salt
Black pepper

To finish:
Crumbled feta cheese
Cilantro or parsley
Sumac powder

Recipe:

Start by making a flavorful base for the tomato stew. While most recipes call for onion and garlic in this step, I stay away from those alliums due to sensitive digestion and substitute with scallions and asafoetida. That being said, if you can tolerate them, add one onion and a few smashed garlic cloves here.

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Warm about two tablespoons of olive oil your dutch oven over medium heat. Mix in spices, salt and pepper to infuse the oil. Add both types of pepper and scallions, stirring to coat the vegetables oil. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook the peppers and scallions until soft, stirring to avoid any pieces sticking to the pot and burning. Once these first ingredients are nearly a paste, add the whole can of tomatoes.

Add more salt and pepper, mix in maple syrup or honey and fold in the kale. Let this simmer for about twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cook your eggs in the tomato stew base. Make an indentations in the stew every two three inches for your yolks with the back of a ladle. Crack your eggs directly into those divots, gently covering their edges in stew.

Cover and let simmer on low for about ten minutes, or until the whites are cooked with the yolks slightly soft.

Serve in a shallow bowl and garnish with a healthy serving of feta cheese, cilantro, and a sprinkling of powdered sumac for a lemony finish.