Shakshuka (Eggs Nested in Summer Vegetables) Recipe
Prep Time:
20 Minutes
Ready In:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small jalapeño chile, minced or 1 teaspoon sriracha
2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
3 or 4 medium summer tomatoes (30 ounces canned diced tomatoes), chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin (don't skip)
Salt & pepper to taste (none may be needed)
1 tablespoon tomato paste (don't skip)
4 large eggs
Fresh parsley, chopped
First, apologies to all the guys who handily, if not altogether happily, run a vacuum cleaner, load a washing machine and clean the kitchen. But we all know the stories of men who "botch" household jobs so easy it seems to be intentional. We women, suckers that we are, throw up our hands and take them back over.

Me, I'm taking a cue from the men when it comes to breakfast.

One of the great luxuries of my life, one of the great pleasures, is sitting down most weekend mornings to a carefully crafted breakfast. The creative cook uses the same ingredients week-in and week-out: eggs, vegetables (lots of vegetables!), fresh salsa, tortillas, a little cheese and fresh herbs, bacon or sausage, some times bacon "and" sausage! But the breakfasts are never the same –except always good, always beautiful – and rarely repeatable.

So I've given up cooking breakfast on the weekends, happy to act as sous chef, emptying the dishwasher and setting the table. Nice, eh?!

But some times, truth be told, I miss cooking breakfast. My solution? Breakfast for supper!

WHAT IS SHAKSHUKA (also spelled SHAKSHOUKA)? For such simple, familiar ingredients, Shakshuka is a surprise, the peppers and tomatoes turn soft and almost sweet. The chile adds more flavor than heat, even a small smidgin of cumin turns the mixture dark and toasty. The eggs poach in the hot vegetable mixture, the whites firm, the yolks golden-gooey. The dish originates in North Africa, in Algeria or Tunisia but has become a signature dish in Israel.

ALANNA's TIPS For a super-fast make-ahead breakfast for one or two or even a small crowd, cook the vegetable mixture a day or two ahead of time. Shakshuka would make a great hearty but healthy campfire breakfast! This recipe uses fresh tomatoes – aren't we so sad when the season ends, so thrilled when it reopens?!! – but Roma tomatoes or canned tomatoes would work in the winter. Aim for a texture that's moist but not liquid, do cook off most of the liquid before adding the eggs. While not traditional, Shakshuka is peasant food so go ahead, when the garden is profligate, add small bites of okra, sweet corn, zucchini, tomatillo; just be sure to get enough tomato liquid. For something jaw-droppingly good, place a thin layer of fresh mozzarella under or over the eggs before they cook.


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