Who doesn’t like eggs for dinner? If you raise your hand, then you might try this North African stew. Shakshouka is a bright and spicy one-skillet meal -- a thick ragout of tomatoes and sweet peppers with runny eggs poached in the sauce. It’s traditionally served for breakfast throughout North Africa and the Middle East, but shakshouka is also a vibrant brunch dish and a warming, homey dinner.
The base of shakshouka is flexible and forgiving, thus amenable to additional ingredients and varying heat levels. This recipe nudges the stew into dinner territory with the hearty additions of chickpeas, wilted greens and spicy sausage. These ingredients are optional; for a meatless option, add black olives to the ragout and feta cheese scattered over the top. Or point the dish toward North Africa with the addition of spicy lamb merguez sausages.
Whichever way you customize it, serve shakshouka with crusty bread or couscous for soaking up the egg yolk and sauce.
Prepare shakshouka in a large (10- to 12-inch) lidded skillet and serve family-style for casual dining. Alternatively, the ragout can be prepared in the skillet, then divided between ramekins or small gratin dishes before adding the eggs, to make individual servings.
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 to 5
8 ounces Spanish chorizo sausages, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (28-ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes with juice
1 cup cooked chickpeas
2 cups roughly torn chard or spinach leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 to 5 large eggs
Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish
(Note: For a vegetarian option, skip this step.) If using sausage, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 10- to 12-inch lidded skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and brown on all sides 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the sausages to a plate lined with a paper towel. Pour off the oil from the pan.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Add the onion and red pepper and saute over medium heat until the vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and chili flakes and saute until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in the sweet and smoked paprikas and the cumin and stir to toast, about 15 seconds more. Add the tomatoes and sausage (if using). Partially cover the pan and simmer over medium-low heat to slightly thicken and allow the flavors to develop, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring and breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Add the chickpeas, chard and salt and stir until the greens are slightly wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.
Make an indentation or well in the ragout with the back of a soup ladle or large spoon. Crack one egg in a small bowl, then tip the bowl and let the egg slide into the indentation. Repeat with the remaining eggs, taking care to not overlap the eggs. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat until the egg whites are set but the yolks remain runny, 8 to 10 minutes.
Note: If using individual ramekins or gratin dishes, divide the ragout between the individual dishes before adding the eggs. To cook, place the dishes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a 350-degree oven for 7 to 9 minutes. (The eggs will cook faster in the oven than on the stovetop.)
Once the eggs are set, remove the shakshouka from the heat and garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro. Serve immediately with crusty bread for mopping up the juices.
CAPTIONS AND CREDITS
Caption 01: Photo by Lynda Balslev for TasteFood