k Summer sunshine Shakshuka - Saturday brunch k
This is a stunning seasonal twist on one of my absolute brunch-time faves. Shakshuka (pronounced shack-shoe-kah) is an easy but elegant one pot wonder – protein packed and full of omega-3.
The base sauce of tomatoes and red peppers is spicy, punchy and rich. Plus it’s full of amazing nutrients such as lycopene and beta-carotene which protects the skin from UV damage. Cooking tomatoes with olive oil increases lyopene absorption, providing vitamin E to amplify the actions of vitamin C. This dish is also anti-inflammatory and high in potassium to keep your electrolytes in balance for healthy circulation of your ‘beauty nutrients’.
Said to be of Tunisian or Yemini origin, the most popular Shakshuka style is the ‘Israeli version’ where the eggs are poached in a spiced tomato sauce with optional feta on top. I suppose it’s rather like Mexican huevos rancheros – but even better (in my little humble opinion). You might even lick the dish like I always do!
Tess’s Recipe Tips
If you are purely plant based you can swap out the eggs and substitute with silken tofu and chickpeas or butterbeans. The base sauce can be made in advance and can keeps well in the fridge for up to three days. This dish is wonderful with flatbread and there is a seperate recipe to follow!
1 bunch of asparagus – chopped into spears
1 large handful of fresh peas (if you don’t have fresh peas – frozen are perfectly okay)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 large red pepper chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin (or cumin seeds)
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes (if you like it spicy)
2 tablespoons tomato purée
1 tin of tomatoes chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander (or flat-leaf parsley)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 to 6 organic eggs
1 carton of kefir yogurt (or plant based yogurt)
Pea shoots, watercress, rocket, sumac or pink peppercorns.
1. Start by lightly steaming the asparagus and fresh peas for approximately 3 minutes. Plunge into chilled water, drain and set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Warm the oil in a large, oven-safe pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion , stir often until the onions are tender and turning translucent (about 4 to 6 minutes).
3. Add the garlic, peppers, cumin, paprika and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until nice and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Pour in the tinned tomatoes with the tomato purée and add the coriander. Stir and let the mixture come to a simmer.
5. Turn off the heat adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as necessary. Use the back of a spoon to make a well near the perimeter and crack the egg directly into it. Repeat with the remaining 4 to 5 eggs, depending on how many you can fit. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the eggs.
6. Carefully transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 8 to 12 minutes, checking often once you reach 8 minutes. They’re done when the egg whites are an opaque white and the yolks have risen a bit but are still soft. They should still jiggle in the centers when you shimmy the pan (keep in mind that they’ll continue cooking after you pull the dish out of the oven).
7. Top with the cooked asparagus, peas and fresh leaves and sumac and pink peppercorns, if desired. Serve in bowls with warm flatbreads or crusty bread on the side.
Love Tess x