It’s pretty hard to go out for breakfast or brunch these days without finding shakshuka on the menu, and for good reason. A North African dish in origin of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce, just begging for some crusty bread to soak it all up, typically topped with salty feta and fresh herbs. Sounds fancy, right? It’s actually a very simple dish to make, and can feed a crowd for pennies. The trickiest part of making shakshuka is not overcooking the eggs in the tomato sauce. It’s super easy to go from perfectly jammy eggs to hard boiled in a matter of minutes.
My shakshuka is basically foolproof. I may get some flack for this, but my version doesn’t cook the eggs directly in the sauce. I’ve opted for boiling the eggs for 6.5 minutes, giving you a perfectly cooked runny egg every time. The tomato sauce is chocked full of veggies and warm spices, all topped with crispy shallots, creamy feta cheese, fresh herbs, and my favorite herb sauce for some extra punch.
I don’t know about you, but my tiny human wakes up at the ass crack of dawn, and breakfast is consumed long before any decent establishment opens. So why not make this at home and give yourself the breakfast you deserve, no matter how early you have to wake up?
1/2 C shallots, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp avocado oil
1 C red pepper, diced
1 C onion, diced
1 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems separated and bottom stems finely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp harissa powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 14.5 oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 C water
2 C spinach
Maldon flake salt
aleppo pepper flakes
In a small fry pan heat avocado oil over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until crispy and brown. Drain from oil with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined bowl to absorb excess grease. Transfer oil to a large skillet, and add one Tbsp of olive oil. Add red pepper, onion, cilantro stems and 1/4 tsp of salt. Over medium heat, saute until the vegetables are soft and the onion becomes translucent. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, and harissa powder, stirring to coat the vegetables with the spice mixture. Cook until the spices become fragrant, approximately 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes and water, stirring to combine. Lower heat to low-medium low and simmer tomato sauce for 15-20 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, cook the eggs. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Gently lower the eggs into the boiling water and cook for 6.5 minutes. Drain eggs and immediately place in an ice bath to stop the eggs from cooking any further. When the eggs are cool to the touch, peel them and reserve for later.
Once the sauce has simmered for 15-20 minutes, take 2 cups of the sauce mixture and puree in a blender. Add the pureed sauce back to the pan and stir to incorporate back into the remaining sauce. Season to taste with salt or more harissa if you like things extra spicy. Add spinach and cook until just wilted. Remove sauce from heat.
Cut eggs in half and nestle them in the sauce. Top shakshuka with feta cheese, cilantro, mint, and fried shallots. Finish with a sprinkle of flake salt and aleppo pepper, and a hefty drizzle of herb sauce over the top. Serve family style with a loaf of crusty bread to soak up all that spicy saucy goodness.