In Israel the word shakshuka is synonymous with breakfast. It’s best with a slice or two of challah bread to sop up the juices. When I say the word shakshuka, people often give me a strange look… like I’ve sneezed, or something. I get excited when I see that look – it means they don’t know what the heck shakshuka is, which means they have no idea what they’re missing out on. If you aren’t familiar with shakshuka, I’m thrilled to introduce the concept to you! It’s one of my favorite dishes — a simple, go-to meal that works as a breakfast, lunch, or dinner (“brinner” might be the more appropriate word, since eggs are the star of the dish). I always have the ingredients for shakshuka on hand, and it never fails to make people say “yum!” In Israel shakshuka is often eaten for breakfast, but I usually find myself serving it with a side salad as a light evening meal. It’s super easy and versatile. It’s a vegetarian one-skillet meal that is easy to make, very healthy, and totally addicting.
INGREDIENTS 8 to 12 large eggs 3 tablespoons canola oil 2 medium yellow onions, chopped 1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped 1 large jalapeño chile, cored, seeded and chopped 7 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1/4 cup tomato paste 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand 1 bay leaf 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon ground caraway
1/2 bunch Swiss chard, stemmed and chopped, or spinach
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the bell peppers and jalapeño and cook just until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and sauté for another 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the tomatoes.
Stir in the bay leaf, sugar, salt, paprika, cumin, pepper, and caraway and let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes. Layer the Swiss chard leaves on top. Crack the eggs into the tomato mixture. Cover and simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the whites of the eggs are no longer translucent. Now it’s time to enjoy your well deserved shakshuka!
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