Ben is a photographer and this week he’s got a lot of dusk shoots to do. I can get pretty lazy about dinner when it’s just me and Esme eating. You want cheesy noodles? Okay! Throw some peas in there for green. But I’m trying to put in more effort this week and come up with some new dinner ideas. Tonight I made a twist on breakfast for dinner. I could eat breakfast at every meal and so could Esme so I knew I was starting from a good place. Plus, is there a dish that’s more fun to say than shakshuka? I don’t think so. We probably said it about fifteen times over dinner tonight.
It’s a very simple dish that would be great for brunch, too. You poach eggs in a zesty tomato sauce and that’s it. We had it with broccoli and crusty bread. A bonus for Julian, who loves a crust to chew on so much he chortles to the bread in between bites.
I made the sauce in the afternoon and so I just had to steam the veg and poach the eggs before dinner time. I went easy on the spice but if your kids or a bit older or more adventurous you could go to town by adding hot peppers to the onion mixture. This is one of those recipes that creates fights in the comment boxes of food sites. Never use onions. You must use bell peppers. It’s Israeli. It’s definitely Libyan. Feta does not belong in shakshuka. In advance: sorry. I loved the way this turned out and will definitely make it again. Esme said it was very yummy and that’s all that mattered tonight. Plus, there were leftovers for Ben when he got home.
1 onion chopped
3 or 4 cloves of garlic minced
a really good sized glug of olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
good pinch of kosher salt and pepper
5 or 6 eggs
1/4 cup crumbled feta
chopped basil (or parsley)
Chop the onion on the fine side and mince the garlic. Sautee them for a few minutes in a really good glug of olive oil. Let them get almost brown and then add the spices. Allow the spices to cook for a couple of minutes.
Pour the tomatoes and their juice into a bowl. Use your hands to squish them and break them up.
Add the tomatoes to the onion mixture and allow to simmer on low heat for 20 to 30 minutes. It should cook down and become quite thick. Transfer to a shallow frying pan and bring back to a simmer. Gently crack the eggs onto the sauce and cook until the yolks set, about 7 minutes. My yolks weren’t setting so I put a lid on it for a couple of minutes at the end. Crumble the feta and herbs over top. Serve with crusty bread.
Esme wasn’t sure what to make of this on her plate but after a tentative bite, devoured hers. Success!
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