A beautiful mélange of charred peppers and onions, tomatoes, feta, herbs, and spices, Shakshuka is deeply flavorful and rich. It’s full of garlic, smoke, brine, heat, and salt, and it has the texture of a very dense stew. The eggs are perfectly, effortlessly poached — thanks to the tomatoes, which do all the work for you — and their runny yolks provide a creamy respite from all that delightful intensity.
In short, it’s a stunning dish, and it comes together in one skillet and 25 minutes. That makes it perfect for brunch on a sleepy Saturday, when you don’t want to be up at the crack of dawn cooking. It’s also a terrific dinner option. Whenever you eat it, pair it with a loaf of crusty bread — we like ours sliced thick, brushed with olive oil, lightly salted, and grilled.
Our tip: Whole, canned tomatoes have more flavor than the kind that come crushed or diced. We dump them in a bowl and crush them with our hands, which creates a nice, chunky purée. (Yes, it’s a little messy but quite cathartic.)
Servings: 4 to 6
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large red pepper, thinly sliced
1 small jalapeño, stems, seeds, and ribs removed, thinly sliced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 ½ Tbsp sweet Hungarian or smoked Spanish paprika
2 tsp whole or ground cumin seed
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Large handful minced cilantro, parsley, or a mix
Optional garnishes: oil-cured black olives, feta cheese, artichoke hearts
In a large, deep skillet or straight-sided sauté pan, heat olive oil over high until shimmering. Add onion, red pepper, and jalapeño and spread into an even layer. Cook, without moving, until vegetables on the bottom are deeply browned and beginning to char, about 6 minutes. Turn the mixture over and repeat, cooking until the veggies are fully softened and charred in spots, about 4 minutes.
Add garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add paprika and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Immediately add tomatoes and stir to combine (see tip). Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in half of cilantro or parsley.
Using a large spoon, make a well near the perimeter of the pan and break an egg directly into it. Spoon a little tomato 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, cover, reduce heat to lowest setting, and cook until egg whites are barely set and yolks are still runny, 5 to 8 minutes.
Sprinkle with remaining cilantro or parsley, along with any of the optional toppings. Serve immediately with crusty bread.
Recipe source: Serious Eats