(iPhone shot from our Instagram. Characteristically, I accidentally left my real camera at school over Easter break!)
Long time, no post! Despite the radio silence here over the last few months, we’ve still been enjoying great food and cooking whenever we get the chance (which, since we live in dorms without kitchens at school, isn’t too often).
Over spring break we had the opportunity to visit Israel with a group of students and a couple of professors from our college. Everything about the trip was fabulous, but as expected, the food was a definite highlight. The pita bread here just doesn’t compare- even the homemade ones we’ve made in the past (😢). We left with a lot of recipe inspiration, and when we were home for a couple of days around Easter we decided to flip through the wonderful cookbook Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi.
This popular Israeli dish, shakshuka, has been on our radar for a while- and not just because it has a ridiculously fun-to-say name! We weren’t able to try it while we were in Israel, so upon our return home we decided to put it on the menu.
What a dish! You might think it’s a little weird to poach eggs in a thick, flavorful tomato sauce, but trust us- this meal is pretty awesome. Shakshuka has it all, with creamy, spicy, salty, rich, bright flavors in every bite. Served on challah toast with a side of cucumber/tomato salad with some fresh feta and a dollop of Greek yogurt, it’s the perfect unique meal that is sure to wow everyone who tries it!
2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp Pilpelchuma harissa paste (check the foreign foods aisle of your grocery store)
2 tsp tomato paste
2 large red peppers, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
800 g canned tomatoes, gdrained
4 medium free-range eggs plus 4 egg yolks (or, use 6 whole eggs) Feta cheese and chopped parsley, to top
120g Labneh or Greek Yogurt
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add the harissa, tomato paste, peppers, garlic, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the peppers soften, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer gently for 10 minutes, or until the sauce is thick. Check to be sure that it is seasoned to your liking.
Make wells in the sauce to hold the eggs. Break them and put them into each well. Swirl the egg white with the sauce a bit. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes; the whites should be set but the yolks should still be runny. Covering the skillet while cooking with speed up the process a bit.
Remove from the heat and top with the feta and parsley. Serve with challah toast and spoonfuls of the yogurt or Labneh. Enjoy!