Hey! This is Brian from This Cookin’ Dad with an easy and comforting recipe for shakshuka, a Middle Eastern comfort food that is often served as a breakfast dish alongside crusty bread or soft pita.
Pepper and Kale Shakshuka
One of my favorite approaches to food is to take a dish that seems so exotic and make it more accessible to the American home kitchen. Shakshuka is a dish that makes this goal all to easy.
Literally translated, shakshuka means “all mixed up”. In essence, it’s eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. Tunisian in origin, shakshuka made it’s way to Israel when Tunisian Jews migrated there during the 1950’s. Today, it is one of the most popular dishes in Israel, challenging hummus and falafel as the national favorite.
What I love most about shakshuka is that it’s so easy to make and that there are so many variations to the sauce. It’s the perfect way to empty out the refrigerator of all of that fresh farmer’s market produce this spring and summer. For mine, I start with a diced onion, a few cloves of garlic, and lots of diced red, orange, and yellow bell pepper.
I cook that down with a little salt and pepper and a few sprigs of thyme.
Next, I add some kale. The kale adds a deep, earthy meatiness to this vegetarian dish. I handed a dish over to my wife and, after she had finished, I reminded her that it’s a vegetarian meal. She was so busy enjoying it that she didn’t even realize that there was no meat!!
After the kale has cooked down, I hand crush a can of whole tomatoes and mix it into the veggies. While that comes up to a simmer, I start getting my eggs ready. Breaking the eggs into small bowls makes it a lot easier to pour them into the sauce without breaking the yolks.
Once the sauce is just bubbling, make little wells in the sauce and pour in your eggs. Season with salt and pepper and cover with a lid for 3-5 minutes or until the whites are just cooked through and yolks are still runny.
To serve, top with green onions, fresh parsley, and slice jalapenos for some freshness and a little bite.
For the bread, I simply brush some pita or naan with a little olive oil and sprinkle with za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice mixture. I bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through and just a little crispy around the edges. I serve right alongside my shakshuka because, as a good southern boy, I know that I need something to sop up that yummy egg yolk! I hope you enjoy!!
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4-5 sprigs thyme
- 2 cups kale, finely chopped
- 1-28 oz. can whole tomatoes
- 4 eggs
- sliced green onions (optional)
- fresh flat leaf parsley (optional)
- 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced (optional)
- bread for sopping
- Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Heat olive oil for about 30 seconds or until hot. Add onion, garlic, peppers, salt and pepper to taste, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the kale and cook another 3-5 minutes. Crush the tomatoes by hand and pour into the veggie mixture. Heat to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Taste and re-season with salt and pepper.
- Break the eggs into small bowls. Make 4 small wells in the sauce and pour one egg into each. Season each with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the whites are solid, but yolks are still runny.
- Garnish with green onions, parsley, and sliced jalapeno and serve with crusty bread or soft pita for sopping! Enjoy!
Looking for other ways to make the exotic a little more approachable? Try my Shrimp Chupe from Chile…
…or my home version of the very French Rabbit in Mustard Sauce that I discovered on a trip to Ashville, North Carolina.
Hi, my name is Brian and I would love for you to come visit me on This Cookin’ Dad. I’m a husband, father, veteran, and teacher and my camera and I are on a journey to find, taste, and snap food from all over and bring them back to share with my family and with yours. Make sure you follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to join my adventures.
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