While this breakfast dish might appear to have a lot of ingredients, most of them are readily available and actually make for an incredibly simple and straightforward recipe. Plus you can safely leave out eggs, feta, and butter to make this already-healthy brunch favourite vegan-friendly.
To serve two people:
Harissa Butter (optional):
Preheat an oven to 180ºC. If you don’t have an oven-safe frying pan, place an ovenproof dish into the oven for later.
Sweat your onion, red pepper, and garlic in a little olive oil until the onion softens and turns translucent.
Meanwhile, combine your cumin, paprika, and chili flakes and toast lightly over a very low heat. This will release the aromatics from the spices and make the flavours more bold and fragrant. This step is entirely optional, but we have plenty of time.
Once your onion and pepper is softened, add the spices along with a tablespoon (15ml) of tomato purée and combine into a thick paste.
Cook out for a minute or two before adding your chopped tomatoes and a handful of parsley (as much or as little as you like). Season generously and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.
Once everything has come together, make two wells in the sauce and add your eggs.
Move the pan to the oven and cook for 6 minutes. I’d recommend keeping an eye on things after the five-minute mark to ensure you don’t end up overcooking the eggs—you want the whites to be just-set as they’ll continue to cook up when removed from the oven.
This breakfast becomes a lot more fulfilling when served with some nice sourdough. To complement the spices of the region (North Africa and the Middle East) used in the shakshuka, a compound harissa butter makes a great addition to your toast.
While the shakshuka is in the oven, take as much softened butter as you’ll need for the amount of toast you’re going to make and add 1tsp of harissa paste. Combine using a fork and check for taste, increasing the amount of harissa paste accordingly. You can add a small amount of garlic and a pinch of cumin if you like, and if you’re using unsalted butter, you probably want to season it, too.
The point of the butter is to make it to your preference, so taste and adjust until you’re happy.
Come on now…
When the shakshuka is finished, remove from the oven and garnish with crumbled feta, some more parsley, and a sprinkle of either zatar or sumac.