Recipe and photo by Lissadell Cohen-Serrins
Strolling around the outdoor markets and cafes in Old Jaffa, Israel, you will see person after person digging into heavy cast iron pans of what looks like a tomato stew and smells like a perfectly spiced version of heaven. As it turns out, that’s pretty much what shakshuka is. A traditional North African dish of a thick tomato stew topped with egg, shakshuka is served up directly in the pan it is cooked in and eaten with couscous, bread, and a seemingly endless assortment of vegetable salads. Everyone does shakshuka a little bit differently, so get creative and make this dish your own. Serve shakshuka as a hearty breakfast, lunch or dinner.
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium eggplant, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
¼ cup parsley, chopped, plus extra for garnish
8 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
4 sprigs fresh parsley leaves, chopped
6 large eggs
1 tsp tomato paste
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh goat cheese or feta, crumbled
Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant, bell pepper and onion and sauté until soft.
Lower the heat and add the chopped garlic and parsley. Sauté for another minute.
Add the chopped tomatoes, paprika, cumin and a pinch of salt to the skillet. Stir, and cook uncovered for about five minutes. The vegetables should begin to break down into a tight stew.
Add the tomato paste, mix well, and adjust seasoning if necessary. Cook for an additional five minutes, uncovered.
Using a wooden spoon, pat six indentations into the stew. The bottom of the skillet should remain covered. Carefully crack one egg into each indentation. Cover and cook for about 2-3 minutes, until the egg whites have set (longer if you like a firmer yolk).
To plate, scoop out a large spoonful of egg and stew onto each plate. Top with cheese and parsley. Serve with fresh baguette, pita or couscous!