ShakshoukaThis is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Anh of Food Lover's Journey.
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
6 red, orange or yellow bell peppers, or any combination of the three, cored, seeded and cut into narrow strips
3 jalapeño peppers, seeded and cut into narrow strips
3 14-ounce cans of whole tomatoes
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons dried mint
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
1 teaspoon sea salt
8 large eggs
fresh ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, pour in the olive oil, wait a few seconds, then swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan. Toss in the onions and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add the peppers and fry for 5 minutes, until slightly softened. Pour in the tomatoes along with the vinegar, brown sugar, mint, allspice and red chili flakes. Turn up the heat slightly and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced to a thick sauce, about 30-40 minutes. A wooden spoon dragged across the bottom should leave a clear path for a couple of moments. Stir in the salt, remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Let the pepper mixture cool for a few minutes, then spoon into the bottom of a large casserole or baking dish. Make 8 small indentations into the mixture with the back of a spoon, and crack an egg into each indentation.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the egg whites are completely fixed and the yolks are set to your liking.
Spoon out an egg with plenty of the pepper mixture for each plate, and sprinkle each serving with fresh ground black pepper and parsley. Serves 4 to 8.
Shakshouka ( Tunisian Tomato & Pepper Stew with Eggs )
Tunisian in origin, some version of the spiced and stewed pepper and tomato dish with eggs known as shakshouka can be found almost anywhere in the eastern Mediterranean where it is a popular staple in local bakeries and diners, served in pita breads or with pieces of leavened bread on the side to soak up the rich juices. This variation comes largely from Celia Brooks Brown's World Vegetarian Classics, which I've come lately to adore, with my characteristic addition of a little hot pepper twist to give it an extra kick. A glorious and warming breakfast on a cool spring morning for me, this shakshouka would make an equally colourful, surprising and popular dish to serve guests for lunch.