Shakshuka: Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce Is the Hip New Egg Dish in Town by Chef Gigi Gaggero
Though it's North African in origin, these days Shakshuka is popular throughout the Middle East, particularly in Israel, and is also now trending in hip neighborhood diners all over. It's quick. It's simple. And it works for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or a midnight snack. You can substitute the feta for thick and creamy plain Greek yogurt.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 medium onion, charred then thinly sliced
- 1 large red pepper, seeds and ribs removed and thinly sliced (a bell pepper for milder heat or a hotter variety, such as a red horned pepper, depending on your heat preference)
- 1 fresh small hot chili, such as jalapeño, Serrano or Fresno, stems, seeds and ribs removed, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon harissa
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian or smoked Spanish paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch cilantro, parsley or a mix, chopped
- 1 cup feta
- 6 eggs
Here’s how to make it:
- In a large, deep skillet or straight-sided sauté pan, heat the oil over high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and chili and spread into an even layer. Cook, undisturbed, to allow a little charring, for approximately 6-8 minutes. Stir and repeat. Cook until the vegetables are fully softened and charred in spots.
- Add garlic and cook an additional minute. Add the spices and stir, until fragrant. Immediately add tomatoes and combine. Reduce heat to a bare simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in half of the cilantro or parsley.
- Using a large spoon, make a well for each egg near the perimeter of the pan. Break an egg directly into the well. Spoon a little sauce over edges of egg white to partially submerge and contain it, leaving yolk exposed. Repeat with remaining 5 eggs, working around pan as you go. Season eggs with a little salt. Add the feta and cover. Reduce heat to lowest setting and cook until egg whites are barely set, yolks are still runny and cheese is melted, 5-8 minutes.
- Sprinkle with remaining cilantro or parsley. Serve immediately with warm crusty bread and delicious sides such as a variety of olives, pickled vegetables and jarred artichoke hearts.
Photo: Courtesy of Parke Feierbach