Shakshouka! Aka a dish of eggs poached in a tomatoey-based sauce. If you haven’t tried shashouka before you’re missing out my friends. Popular throughout the Middle East, Mediterranean and in North Africa, and with many variations, the name shakshouka is Arabic slang for ‘a mixture’ - and a mixture of good stuff it is indeed.
This vegetarian-friendly dish is perfect to whip on mornings you have a little extra time on your hands to make something yummy, yet superbly nutritious, for brunch (or dinner!). There isn’t too much to it - you begin by whipping up an easy spiced garlicky tomato sauce, loaded with protein-packed legumes; which you pour into a baking dish, crack in a few eggs, and then oven-bake until the eggs are soft-set. It’s insanely good served with a crumbly of feta, Italian parsley and buttered sourdough *drool*.
While traditional shakshouka doesn’t typically contain legumes, I’ve included them here for a few reasons. They’re really nutritious, bumping up the protein and fibre content of the dish, leaving you full for longer into the morning. Canned varieties are also really convenient to use (just open, drain and rinse!), are cheap-as-chips and a great way to bulk out a meal and feed a crowd on a budget - more nutritional bang for your buck.
Short on time, but dig the recipe?
You’ll need about half an hour prep time for this one, so if time is a concern instead whip up the sauce at the start of the week and store portions in individual ramekins in the fridge. When it's time for breakfast; simply preheat the oven, crack an egg in the middle of your ramekin and then leave to happily bake for ten while you go about getting ready! Otherwise, just heat the pre-cooked sauce via the microwave/stovetop and serve with an even speedy poached or fried egg - you'll still get all the flavour.
Shakshouka aka Tomatoey Baked Eggs
3 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
2x 400g tin crushed and sieved tomatoes
1x 400g tin chickpeas
1x 400g tin cannellini beans
1/4 cup water
1 tsp salt
A few turns of the pepper shaker
2 handfuls of spinach (or other leafy greens e.g. sliced silverbeet, kale, rainbow chard...)
1/4 block feta
A few small handfuls of Italian parsley - one to cook, one to serve
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees fan bake.
2. Heat oil in a large deep frypan over a low-medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and cook for a few minutes. Add dried oregano, cumin and paprika, and stir, cooking until onions and garlic have softened - about five minutes.
3. Add tinned tomatoes and 1/4 cup water to fry-pan and stir. Open tin of chickpeas and beans, drain in a sieve and rinse until the water runs clear, then add to fry pan. Season with 1 tsp salt and a few generous turns of the pepper shaker (8-10), then mix well. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and has reduced slightly.
4. Add spinach leaves and a small handful of parsley, give it a mix and leave to simmer for another 10 minutes.
5. Pour into a circular/square baking dish (the circular dish I used here was 26cm across). Make 4 small wells in the tomato sauce with a spoon, and carefully crack in eggs. Place dish in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until eggs are soft-set (i.e. they look cooked, but still have a slight wobble to them).
6. Serve sprinkled with crumbled feta and a handful of italian parsley leaves, and some crusty buttered soughdough. Enjoy!
Substitute tinned legumes for other tinned varieties e.g. kidney beans
Substitute spinach for other leafy greens e.g. kale, silverbeet, rainbow chard