You already know I’m a big fan of BFD – Breakfast for Dinner – whether in the form of a savory frittata, simple scrambled eggs splashed with soy sauce, or a sunny-side up egg nested in some wholesome grains. But it occurred to me as I prepared a new (to me) egg dish for dinner the other night called shakshuka, that eggs have been popping up in many unexpected places creating some palate-pleasing eggsperiences! And when I posted a picture of my dinner, several people immediately requested the shakshuka recipe. So here it is along with some inspiration for all my fellow egg-lovers.
Recently, a poached egg on a pasta dish at the restaurant Zero Zero in San Francisco had our whole table oohing and aahing, including my mother who can barely stand to cook an egg, let alone eat one! The dish included an unusual pasta called casareccia, prosciutto, arugula, Grana Padano, Straus Butter, prosciutto breadcrumbs, and a perfectly poached egg. When the egg yolk was broken and mingled with the rest of the ingredients, the added creaminess brought all the ingredients together in perfect harmony.
Or feast your eyes on this pizza at La Pizzeria in Campbell called Occhio Di Bue. The pizza includes tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, spinach, parmesan cheese & egg.
I was hesitant to order it but with the confident urging of the waiter, I took a leap of faith. No regrets – the creamy yellow yolk married lusciously with the salty parmesan, bright spinach and tomatoes, and creamy mozzarella. A match made in heaven.
And finally, if you’ve never eaten shakshuka (shakshouka), or said the word out loud, please do! It’s as fun to eat as it is to speak. Shakshuka is of Tunisian descent but is very popular as a breakfast and brunch food in Israel. You create a spicy tomato mixture that forms the bed for cooking the eggs. It comes together quickly and is perfect served simply with bread for dipping or can be accompanied by some yogurt cheese called labneh topped with a bit of olive oil and za’atar spice mix.
Below is my version of shakshuka, influenced strongly by @yumivore, @globetrotterdiaries, @theshiksa, as well as the recipe in the cookbook “Jerusalem: A Cookbook” by Ottolenghi and Tamimi, (published by Ten Speed Press). To explore “Jerusalem: A Cookbook” further, drop by our virtual cooking community Tasting Jerusalem and join the cooking and conversation on FB, Twitter and Instagram via the hashtag #TastingJrslm, and at omgyummy.com.
Do you ever eat eggs for lunch or dinner and if yes, what is your favorite way to prepare them?
- one small onion or ½ of a large one – white or brown (red onion or shallots could work as well)
- ½ of a large red bell pepper, finely diced
- ½ of a spicy red pepper, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons homemade or store-bought harissa (optional)
- ½ of 28oz can of whole tomatoes
- 14 oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes (mine were flavored w green chilies)
- 6 eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- sumac or za’atar for sprinking (optional)
- fresh parsley or cilantro for sprinkling (optional)
- Saute the onions and red peppers in the olive oil in a large frying pan on medium heat until the onions are transluscent and softened and just starting to show some color.
- Add the spices and harissa and combine with the pepper/onion mixture.
- Pour in the tomatoes, breaking up the whole tomatoes a bit with your hands.
- Stir and let it cook on low heat partially covered for about 20 minutes, tasting it as it cooks to adjust for seasoning. When the tomatoes have broken down a bit and the flavors are blended, you’re ready for the eggs.
- Make 6 wells or indentations to pour the eggs in. I cracked my egg in a separate bowl and poured it in to ensure no shells. Put the heat on low to medium low, cover the pan and let the eggs set – this should take about 8 – 10 minutes. When the yolk is still soft but the white is just set, you’re ready to serve. At this point, you can sprinkle with a bit of sumac or za’atar if you have some and also some fresh chopped cilantro or parsley.
- Serve with soft bread for dipping. I also served some crisp veggies and labneh (yogurt cheese) topped with olive oil which my daughter used as a dip for the veggies.