A few years ago I tried going meatless for a month. It wasn’t vegan because I still used dairy products and eggs, but I cut out all forms of meat. Along the way I found some really good meatless dishes, including today’s recipe for shakshuka.
Shakshuka is a traditional North African dish. It’s intended as a full meal, not just a side dish. When I made it we added grilled eggplant as a side, along with a green salad and bread. Here’s the recipe:
2 Tbs. olive oil
One onion, diced;
One red bell pepper, diced;
one green bell pepper, diced;
one jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 C sliced mushrooms (optional)
One medium yellow squash chopped (optional)
Two cloves garlic, minced
28 oz. diced tomatoes with juice
1 tsp. sat
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika;
1/2 tsp. turmeric
Pepper to taste
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1/2 C water
Cook onion and mushrooms in oil until onions become translucent and mushrooms turn golden brown. Add jalapenos, peppers and squash. Cook about five minutes until peppers begin to soften. Add all spices and stir thoroughly. Cook another five minutes or so. Add tomatoes and water and stir. Let simmer 25-30 minutes until water reduces, stirring occasionally.
Smooth the mixture with a spoon and make six indentations. Crack one egg into each indentation. Break yolks if desired. Cover and cook until eggs are almost at desired doneness. Sprinkle feta cheese and cilantro, remove from heat, keep covered until cheese melts and eggs are done to your liking. Serve in bowls, one egg to a serving.
Here’s a link to Chef John’s video. It’s worth a watch to hear Chef John’s corny delivery and see his save as he explains that it’s essential not to crack the eggs directly into the vegetable mixture. Instead, he says, crack it into a ramekin and then into the mixture. This will guarantee that the yolk doesn’t break. Just as he makes that pronouncement, the yolk of the second egg he adds from his ramekin breaks. But Chef John is a pro and doesn’t miss a beat.
I followed Chef John’s recipe for the most part. I omitted the mushrooms because we have some non-mushroom eaters in our family. I wanted something with the texture and bulk of the mushrooms to replace them so I added squash. I think it turned out well. I omitted the cayenne pepper of Chef John’s recipe, also in deference to the palates of our family. Finally, I added garlic because everything is better with garlic. This is a definite do-again recipe.