I love a big savory breakfast on Saturday morning. I also have a passionate and unrelenting obsession with tomatoes. Put those two together and I get my favorite savory breakfast of all time. I first got a taste of shakshuka, a traditionally North-African dish, in Jaffa, when I was on my Birthright trip in Israel, and I had it for dinner. Yes, it is actually a dinner meal over there, but here in the states, we like our eggs earlier in the day so I love making this for breakfast, or sometimes, even dinner, when I’m especially craving tomatoes.
The best thing about this egg dish is how the eggs get cooked as a result of being surrounded by steamy tomatoes – they get perfectly poached to whatever level of doneness you prefer – I prefer mine semi-runny and gooey, so I can dip some nice bread into the whole thing and really enjoy the hands-on aspect of this dish.
The herbs really add a great kick of freshness and pair extremely well with the cumin and paprika. You can use parsley or cilantro.
I’ve made a few versions of this, but ultimately prefer the classic recipe, so here goes:
- 5 or 6 large eggs
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, medium-dice
- 1 large red bell pepper, medium-dice
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed or thinly sliced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled plum tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped. My favorite is Cirio
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped parsley or cilantro, for finishing
*Optional – crumbled feta for finishing
- Preheat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, then the onion and bell pepper. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until very soft, about 20 minutes. If you find your onion and peppers is browning too much, turn the heat down more.
- Add the garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes, then add in cumin, paprika and cayenne, and cook 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper; simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Make small indentations in the tomatoes – to make room for the eggs. Gently crack the eggs into the skillet into their respective spots you’ve pre-made. Season the eggs with salt and pepper. Cook for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley or cilantro and serve
*Note – if you want to add some heat to this dish, feel free to use red pepper flakes and/or finish with a hot sauce of your choice.
Enjoy the most perfectly-cooked eggs and all the tomato deliciousness with a nice warm piece of bread or pita.