I first had Shakshuka at Eltana, a wood-fired bagel shop in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. They offered it as an option among their handful of soups, as something hearty to go along with your toasty bagel. That day, the love affair began with this tomato-based saucy egg dish that's now become a favorite in our house for slower weekend breakfasts and brunch. Have you ever tried it? If you're not familiar with Shakshuka, it's a staple in Middle Eastern, Moroccan and Israeli cultures. It's essentially a tomato and pepper stew that's often prepared in a skillet on the stovetop or in the oven. You prepare the chunky sauce first and then crack the eggs right into it and let them poach on their own. The result is a savory, messy, and incredibly satisfying breakfast (or lunch. Or dinner, really).
I've made variations that incorporate kale or winter greens, leftover grains like farro, or leftover pulled pork from a barbecue we'd gone to the night before. You can treat the dish quite traditionally, or you can toss in things that make you happy to see alongside tomatoes, peppers and eggs. I choose the latter. Regardless of how you get there, I think you'll like the end product, too.
Megan is a freelance writer and recipe developer. Her cookbook, Whole-Grain Mornings, will be available in bookstores nationwide Dec/2013. Megan also owns the Seattle-based artisan cereal company, Marge Granola.
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