Shakshuka is one of my favorite breakfast dishes…it’s colorful, flavorful, and downright delicious! And with Christmas just eight weeks away and a houseful of family joining us Shakshuka will be my go-to recipe for our Christmas Day brunch.

It’s a simple, yet elegant dish made with eggs poached in a delicious tomato stew. Shakshuka is layered in flavor, which can be attributed to its cooking process: tomatoes, onions, garlic, and parsley are first roasted in the oven then transferred to a cast iron skillet where they are simmered on the stovetop with more garlic, peppers, and herbs and then finally topped with eggs. Add feta and the flavors explode!

Said to have originated in Tunisia, Shakshuka which means “all mixed up” is popular in many parts of North Africa and the Middle East. Although its roots are in North Africa each of the regions have created their own version.

What I most like about this recipe, it’s made from scratch. Many years ago, I made my first Shakshuka using canned tomatoes, it was good, but I have found using fresh tomatoes with the other fresh ingredients truly marries all the flavors you would expect. Using fresh ingredients truly takes it to the next level. Additionally, (and a helpful tidbit) you can prepare the tomato mixture days in advance (as in 5-7 days out) which helps with time management.

Is it healthy? You bet! Shakshuka is filled with lots of nutrients – vitamins A, C, K, folate, potassium, protein from the eggs, and calcium from the added feta. It is super easy to make and super delicious to eat.

I highly recommend this rich and savory dish whether you are serving it to your family or to guests gathered around your table. This dish will please. I am super excited to include it on my menu for the holidays. P.S. You will definitely want to serve this with artisan bread, crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.

The recipe I am sharing with you today is an Israeli take, written up in the 2016 issue of Eating Well. Hope you like it!

This is what you will need:

  • 3 cloves garlic, divided
  • 3 pounds, approximately 18 ripe plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsps. olive oil, divided
  • 2 tbsps. chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper, divided
  • 2 large chilies, such as Anaheim, Poblano or Banana Peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 – 5 large eggs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Slice 2 garlic cloves. Toss with chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, 3 tablespoons olive oil, parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread evenly on a large, rimmed baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Roast until the tomatoes are shriveled and brown, about 45 minutes.
  3. Chop the remaining garlic clove. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and chopped chilies, cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add cumin and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato mixture, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and basil. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are mostly broken down, 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Make deep indentations in the sauce with the back of a spoon and carefully crack an egg into each. Sprinkle the eggs with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Cover and cook over medium-low until the whites are set, 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, sprinkle with feta and let stand, covered for 2 minutes. (The eggs will continue to cook a bit as they stand.) Garnish with remaining parsley.

Notes:

If you plan on preparing the dish in advance, follow the directions through step 3. Then let the tomato mixture cool, transfer into a container, and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use. When you are ready, take the tomato mixture out of the refrigerator and slowly begin heating it on the stove in a cast iron skillet on medium-low. Be sure the tomatoes are warm before starting step 4. Depending on how many you are serving this recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Also, there have been times that I have added other types of tomatoes such as Campari and/or Kumato to this dish. I found this just adds to the complexity of the flavors.

Enjoy and bon app├ętit!