Shakshuka with Swiss Chard
Thank you to Safest Choice Eggs for sponsoring this post.
One compelling reason to make this dish is so that you can say the name and thus sound enormously worldly since chances are whoever you’re speaking to has never eaten it, and most likely, never heard of it.
Now say it 10 times fast.
That’s a whole lot harder to do than to actually cook up a panful of these gorgeous eggs, which isn’t hard at all. A staple of the table in many North African countries as well as in Israel, the dish is made by simmering onions, peppers, and spices, and then cracking a handful of eggs into the mix and cooking them until they’re firm on the outside, but still yolky and soft within. Consider it Tunisia’s answer to huevos rancheros.
Unlike huevos, shakshuka, while flavor-packed, packs little heat, so you can comfortably serve it to spicy-averse kids. If you are concerned about serving your kids eggs that aren’t cooked through, you can make this using pasteurized eggs such as Safest Choice.
Shakshuka is a no-brainer for brunch, but works just as well for a weeknight supper. You can riff on the basic recipe by adding in chick peas or even crumbled sausage. Any which way you make this dish, be sure to say shakshuka as much as you can manage. It’s part of the fun.
Shakshuka: Eggs Poached in Spiced Tomato Sauce
The eggs in this North African and Israeli specialty are gently poached in a flavorful tomato sauce. It makes a terrific brunch dish, but also works for lunch or a light supper. The tomato sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated, making little work when it comes time to pull the whole dish together. You may want to add a little more water when it comes time to reheat the sauce.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- One 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups roughly chopped Swiss chard leaves
- 6 eggs
- 1/3 cup crumbled Feta or goat cheese
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- Warm pita bread or other favorite bread for serving
Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl in the pan. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute until tender, stirring regularly, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 2 minutes. Add the cumin, paprika, cayenne, tomatoes, water, salt, and a few generous grinds of black pepper and stir well. Adjust the heat so the sauce simmers and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the chard and cook until tender, 2 minutes. If that sauce appears really thick, add a little more water and stir.
Make 6 little wells in the tomato sauce and crack and egg in each, spacing them evenly in the pan. Add a pinch of salt to the top of each egg. Cover with a lid or piece of aluminum foil and simmer the eggs in the sauce until the whites are firm but the yolk still soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Check periodically since cooking time can vary.
Sprinkle the cheese and cilantro over the top of the eggs and serve immediately with bread for scooping up the goodies.