A cozy, nourishing bowl of shakshuka is what my autumn dreams are made of. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, this dish can be enjoyed for any meal. It’s one of my absolute favourite go-to meals when I’m short on time but still want something deeply satisfying. The best part about this recipe is that the eggs are scrambled, which makes the cooking time and fussing significantly less. Normally shakshuka has poached eggs, if you’d prefer that cooking method you can find directions here. My other fvourite thing about this recipe is the "topping", when is topping not a good idea? Never, never ever have I said "no topping for me, thanks"!? Sprinkles on top? yes please. Fresh cracked pepper? yes please. Bacon bits and croutons? uh, yeah! Cheese topping, crumb topping, magic shell topping!? I digress.
This recipe is incredibly versatile and forgiving. Don’t have red pepper? Try another colour or skip altogether. Don’t have fresh tomatoes, use canned. Don’t have cumin seeds, use ground cumin. Don't like it spicy? Don't add the pepper flakes. Don’t have feta cheese, try another cheese, maybe goat cheese, or skip it altogether. One thing you really should seriously consider doing is to serve it with crusty bread or toast to sop up all the juices.
1 1/2 ounces (45 grams) feta, roughly crumbled
1/4 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped
3/4 teaspoon Aleppo chile flakes (or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds, lightly toasted and roughly crushed in a mortar and pestle (optional)
1 yellow or white onion, thinly sliced (1 2/3 cups)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into long slices, 1/2-inch thick
3 garlic cloves, crushed in a garlic press or minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and roughly crushed in a mortar and pestle
1 teaspoon tomato paste *skip if using canned tomatoes
1 teaspoon paprika
5 or 6 tomatoes, roughly chopped (18 ounces / 500 grams) *or 796ml can tomatoes
2 1/2 ounces (75 grams) cherry tomatoes *skip if using canned
2 teaspoons rose harissa or regular harissa (or more cumin and paprika if skipping)
1/3 cup water *skip if using canned tomatoes
Salt and black pepper
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Place the feta in a bowl with the parsley, 1/2 teaspoon of chile flakes, 3 tablespoons of oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of coriander seeds. Mix well and set aside (in the fridge if making in advance) until needed.
Put 2 tablespoons of oil into a large sauté pan (with a lid at the ready) and place over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, until softened and lightly browned. Add the bell pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, tomato paste, paprika, and remaining 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds if using. Cook for another 1 minute, until fragrant, and then add all the tomatoes, water, 1 teaspoon of salt, and a generous grind of black pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened.
Add a pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper to the eggs and mix well in a bowl. Slowly pour this into the tomato mixture, swirling the pan and giving it a couple of gentle folds—you don’t want the eggs to be too mixed in. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and let cook for 4 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat, spoon the marinated feta over the top, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of chile flakes, some more chopped parsley and serve at once.