When I was about eight, and my sister was twelve, she became a vegetarian. And because I wanted to be just like my older sister, I followed suit. She stopped after a couple years, but to make sure my family didn’t think I was just copying her I ended up staying vegetarian for nine years. I copied a lot of what my sister was doing. She was a trend setter.
I now eat meat, and I love it I do, but I’m pretty sure I could be vegetarian 75% of the time. I love veggie dishes. I’m all about them really, but I live with a man who expects meat with every meal.
This is a totally novel idea to me, and if we’re being honest, it’s a pretty novel idea for mankind.
So I’m always making vegetarian dishes and hoping he doesn’t notice. This pretty much never works, but I try friends. For purposes of money and health, I try.
But then something amazing happened. I made this breakfast and Jordan said it was the best breakfast he had ever had. And this breakfast was essentially a thick tomato sauce, filled with peppers and spiked with cumin and coriander, that you make little hole in and cracked eggs into. It’s rich without being heavy and it’s balances the salty, spicy, tart, sweet thing perfectly. On top of that it’s super healthy, takes half an hour to make from start to finish, and it also only takes one frying pan to make, and as someone without a dishwasher, let me tell you, that is wildly important.
(Not surprisingly this recipe is adapted from Jerusalem, the amazing book by Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi. This book is amazing, truly, I can’t recommend it enough.)
2 Red Sweet Peppers, thinly sliced
1 can Plum Tomatoes or Cherry Tomatoes (look for brands that don’t add citric acid)
1 Onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Ground Pepper flakes, or in a pinch some Siracha will do
4 Eggs (the best free-range ones you can find!)
Salt and Pepper
3 tbsp Olive Oil
Toast to serve with.
In a large frying pan (cast iron if you have it) warm the olive oil over medium-low heat.
Add in the peppers and onions and cook until the peppers are very soft and the onions are just starting to brown around the edges, about 7-10 minutes
Add in the garlic, stir for about a minute, then add in the spices.
Stir them in until they are fragrant but not burning at all.
Add in the tomatoes and mix.
Bring heat up to medium-high and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until the sauce has thickened.
Bring heat down to medium, and make 4 divets in the sauce.
Crack the eggs into the holes, and cover with a lid for 3 minutes.
While this is happening you can warm up some naan or toast.
When the yolks are still soft but the whites are firm remove the shakshuka from the heat and serve immediately, with thick toast to sop up all the sauces.