Shakshuka: Exotic Eggs
Shakshuka is a Middle Eastern egg dish perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The delicious vegetarian meal comes together in a flash with warm, comforting spices and a luscious tomato sauce, perfect for spooning with up with crusty bread or pita wedges.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes*, reduce or omit if sensitive to spice
1 large can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 to 6 large eggs
½ cup crumbled feta
Spring onions, cilantro or parsley leaves for garnish
Crusty bread or pita, for serving
*If you have harissa, try adding in place of red pepper flakes.
Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Warm the oil in a large cast iron, oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are tender and turning translucent, about 4-6 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, cumin, paprika and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until nice and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
Pour in the crushed tomatoes with their juices. Stir, and let the mixture come to a simmer. Reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook for 5 minutes to give the flavors time to meld.
Turn off the heat. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.
Use the back of a spoon to make a well near the perimeter and crack an egg directly into it. Gently spoon a bit of the tomato mixture over the whites to help contain the egg. Repeat with the remaining 4 to 5 eggs, depending on how many you can fit. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the eggs.
Carefully transfer the skillet to the oven (it’s heavy) and bake for 8 to 12 minutes, checking often once you reach 8 minutes. They’re done when the egg whites are an opaque white and the yolks have risen a bit but are still soft. They should still jiggle in the centers when you shimmy the pan. (Keep in mind that they’ll continue cooking after you pull the dish out of the oven.)
Using oven mitts (both hands!), transfer the hot skillet to a heat-safe surface like the stove. Top with the crumbled feta, spring onions, fresh cilantro leaves, and more red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve in the skillet scooping an egg and lots of sauce out for each serving. Pass the crusty bread!