Now that I've gotten over my fear of runny egg yolks, I've been wanting to make shakshuka for a while now. It feels like it's been popping up all over food blogs and restaurant menus, and I had to know what they hype was about.
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I am incredibly happy that I finally carved out time to make it. And by "time," I mean like half an hour, because it is so simple to make that I can't believe I haven't tried it before. In fact, I've vowed to start keeping a constant supply of whole plum canned tomatoes in my pantry, just to have at the ready for when shakshuka cravings hit.
In addition to the fact that it tastes so heavenly, the process of making shakshuka is also incredibly enjoyable. It all begins with a quick sauté of garlic, onions, bell peppers, and spices (which will make your kitchen smell unbelievable). Then, you'll whip together a tomato sauce by combining canned tomatoes and spinach in a food processor or blender. Feel free to sub kale if you'd prefer!
After adding the sauce to the veggies, it will simmer on the stove until slightly thickened. Then comes the best part—cracking in the eggs. Watch them carefully so they don't overcook.
Because I'm normally cooking for two people max, I wanted to scale down a recipe to avoid any leftovers. (This is just one of those dishes that tastes better fresh!) So here you have it. A flavorful, easy, vegetarian shakshuka designed for two people to share and enjoy. It is slightly spicy, incredibly filling, and would work just as beautifully for brunch as it does for dinner.
I served mine with toasty multigrain bread, but warm pita would also be divine. Also, feel free to sprinkle feta over the top, or omit the parsley for additional basil. Want to nestle in another egg? Be my guest. I even saw a recipe that served shakshuka over hummus, which I can only imagine would be insanely delicious. Clearly, endless variations are welcome!
Shakshuka for Two
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 bell pepper (red or yellow), diced
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- pinch of cayenne
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 14 oz. can whole plum tomatoes
- 3 large eggs
- 1 handful fresh parsley leaves and tender stems
- a few leaves fresh basil or 1 tbsp. dried basil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, being careful not to let it burn. When it's soft and golden brown, add the bell pepper, paprika, cumin, and cayenne and cook for another couple of minutes.
While the veggies are cooking, place the spinach and tomatoes in a food processor or blender and mix until it is the consistency of a finely chopped tomato sauce. Pour the sauce into the skillet and let cook, covered, for 15-25 minutes, or until thickened slightly. As it cooks, the mixture should be heavily simmering, but not boiling. Taste the sauce—if you want more of a kick, add more cayenne.
Using a wooden spoon, make three small divots in the sauce and carefully crack the eggs into them. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook for 5 more minutes or until the egg whites have set. Don't walk away— as soon as the egg whites are set, remove the pan from the heat. It is easy to overcook the eggs, and you want the yolk to remain runny.
Sprinkle the pan with fresh basil, parsley, and salt and black pepper to taste. Serve with multigrain bread or fresh pita. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Green Kitchen Stories