During weekdays I often browse through possible breakfast and brunch foods to cook in the weekends. I was not familiar with Israeli brunch food shakshuka until I bumped into this and this recipe. The pictures were so beautiful that even though I was doubtful about tomato sauce combined with eggs I wanted to give it a try.
And yes it worked. I think eggs are always a must at brunch, in form or another. With tomato sauce they again have a different flavor than when eating scrambled or fried. And as the original recipes say, this dish is extremely adaptable! I also did not follow the recipe, but made it my own version based on what we happened to have at home. This recipe works perfectly like that, as you can mix in different vegetables, different cheese and for example beans, lentils or even sausage of your choice. I had English cheshire cheese in my fridge, but you can as well use feta cheese, cheddar, goat cheese or ricotta, for example.
A friend of mine who lived in Israel told that shakshuka works even better with hummus spread on the sides of your pan. Wipe the hummus and shakshuka with a piece of fresh bread and enjoy the flavors together. Sounds really worth a try!
Here’s my adaptation.
Israeli Shakshuka (serves 2)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small green bell pepper, chopped in small cubes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon chili flakes, or to taste
400g jar chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
freshly ground black pepper and Himalayan pink salt
pinch of sugar
1 handful of baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 can of chickpeas, drained
50g English cheshire cheese, crumbled
fresh cilantro to garnish
Preheat oven to 200° C.
Sautée onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet until the onion softens and gets transparent color. Add cubed bell pepper and sautée for a few minutes more.
Add cumin, paprika and chili and stir to incorporate.
Lower the heat to medium-low. Mix in chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper and sugar. Add spinach and chickpeas and let bubble gently for a few minutes.
Move the mixture in two small oven-safe skillets or pans. Sprinkle with cheese crumbs.
Make two holes in the tomato mixture and carefully crack the eggs in the holes.
Place the skillets in the oven and bake until the eggs have settled. Mine got a bit over-cooked, don’t you let yours to do that ;-)
Top with cilantro and serve with freshly baked bread.
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