Slow Week Shakshuka

ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTORS Dane Feldman

By Dane Feldman
Photo by Dane Feldman.

I had shakshuka for the first time when I traveled to Israel. I absolutely loved the rich and aromatic flavor combination of eggs, tomatoes, and peppers in a breakfast dish that carries so much gravitas, it seems more suited for dinner. In the Mediterranean, more savory dishes are popular for breakfast than sweeter ones, so I was immediately drawn to shakshuka simply because it contains eggs. In the spirit of Slow Week, I figured it would fit right in as it takes much longer to cook than many egg dishes.

Prep time: 45 minutes, serves 4.

What you’ll need:
1/2 white onion, diced
Fennel seed
Red pepper flakes
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 dried chiles from our garden
1 tsp smoked paprika
Roasted red peppers (with pine nuts and raisins)
1 tsp minced garlic
4 large eggs
2 cups of chopped tomatoes and their juices

Directions:
Cut the onion in half and then chop into small pieces. Pour a bit of olive oil into a skillet and cook the onions until soft and slightly browned. Break up the dried chiles and cut the roasted red peppers in half. Add in the roasted peppers, raisins, pine nuts, and the chiles to the skillet. Stir with a large spoon and cook on low heat until softened. This step will only take a minute or so. Next, add in a dash of red pepper flakes, the garlic, the paprika, and a sprinkle of fennel seed. Stir.

Now, mix in the tomatoes. Cook the sauce on low heat until it thickens, stirring every couple of minutes. After about 10 minutes, the sauce should be thick enough to add the eggs. With the spoon, make a small opening in the sauce for each egg. Crack each egg into its designated spot, cook until the whites harden and the yolk is just slightly runny. You may need to cover the skillet in order to cook the eggs through efficiently.

Remember to be conservative with the use of the pepper flakes. I used dried chile peppers from our garden and knew they would be quite hot. If I had added any more than just a dash of red pepper flakes, this would have been inedible even for me (and I love spicy food). If a lot of heat isn’t for you, seed the chile peppers and nix the red pepper flakes altogether.

Serve in bowls topped with feta.

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