One of the few silver linings of the past two months isolated at home with our family is getting to eat three family meals a day together. Rarely would we all get to sit down for family dinners during the week and lunch/brunch was saved for just weekends. These days, thanks to coronaviurs, mealtime has become the best part of our days, especially lunch when the kids get to take a break from schooling and we can set work and household chores aside to sit down to eat together, even if it’s just for 15 mins. The only problem being, by the time I’m done cooking and cleaning dishes it feels like it’s time to plan for the next meal. I’ve used this time as an opportunity to try new dishes and experiment with flavors I think we all might enjoy. I also try to avoid cooking separate meals for the kids to at least limit my time in the kitchen. Tired of turkey sandwiches, salad or mac n cheese for lunch I’ve been in search of inspiration, especially for lunchtime.
Shakshuka always seemed one of those meals that was best saved for a lazy Sunday morning brunch. In fact, I had never tried making it at home as I was afraid my version would pale in comparison to Cafe Mogador’s where we would often trek to the East Village or Williamsburg for their version of Moroccan eggs, just waiting to be scooped up with puffy pita.
A Middle Eastern inspired one pan dish of eggs nestled in a bed of cooked tomatoes, red pepper and spices, Shakshuka is a simple and hearty meal to prepare. I wouldn’t pass on the opportunity to serve it up for dinner with a fresh baguette. It was great to see the kids try and enjoy something new and plan to add it to our weekly rotation. See my version of the recipe below!
Credit: Created for Equal Parts
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 12 oz jar of artichokes, drained and quartered (optional)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- Pinch of cayenne (optional or to taste, this will give the dish quite some kick)
- 1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes coarsely chopped or 2 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- ¾ tsp kosher salt, or more to taste
- ¼ tsp ground pepper, or more to taste
- 1 and ¼ cups feta cheese crumbled (or try substituting with goat cheese)
- 6-8 large eggs
- 2 tbs fresh parsley (or cilantro) for serving
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees placing oven rack in middle of the oven.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Saute onions and bell pepper until vegetables start to soften about 5 mins. Add sliced garlic and cook until tender about 1 min. Stir in artichoke hearts if using along with cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper. Pour in tomatoes along with tomato paste, season with salt and pepper and cook until tomatoes start to thicken about 10 mins. Taste tomato mixture and add more seasonings as desired. Stir in feta cheese.
- Crack eggs directly into the pan over tomatoes. Season with additional salt and pepper. Transfer pan to oven and cook for approx 15-20 mins or until eggs are set. Scatter fresh herbs on top and serve straight from the pan family style with fresh bread or pita.