Dinner, Sunny Side Up
By Chef Rachel Bayes
or shakshouka, is Maghrebi Arabic for “a mixture,” and refers to eggs poached in a fragrant sauce of tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, olive oil, and aromatics like cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Typically served alongside pita or crusty breads, fresh salads, spreads, and cheeses, it’s perfect, really, for an anytime meal in November. A few countries in Northern Africa claim to have invented the OG shakshouka—Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, and Yemen—and there are as many variations of the sauce as people who make it. Versions leaning into sweet, spicy, or salty can be made by adding sheep milk cheeses, chorizo sausage, harissa, or preserved lemon. During the 1950s and 60s, Maghrebi Jewish immigrants brought the dish to Israel, where it’s served up as part of a hearty Israeli breakfast, but this meal is so versatile, you can eat it whenever you darn well please! serves 6 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 medium onion, diced 1 red pepper, seeded and diced 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 tsp paprika 1 tsp cumin ¼ tsp chili powder 796 ml can whole or diced tomatoes salt and pepper, to taste 6 large eggs 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped 1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped ½ c crumbled feta (optional but so good!) Heat oil in a large sauté pan* over medium heat. Add onion and red pepper, cooking for 5 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent. *many recipes show shakshouka made in a cast iron pan, but you can easily use a stainless steel pan, too—just use a pan that’s got a heavy bottom, to prevent burning Add garlic and spices and cook an additional minute or two, stirring frequently. Pour tomatoes and juice into the pan, breaking down the tomatoes using a large spoon. Season with salt and pepper and bring the sauce to a simmer. Cook until heated through and veggies are soft. Use your large spoon to make small wells in the sauce and crack the eggs into each well. Cover the pan and cook for 5–8 minutes (or throw in a 350°F oven), or until the eggs are done to your liking. Garnish with chopped herbs, and feta, if using. Serve immediately.