Words, recipe and image by Dominique Woolf
Shakshuka is a wonderful tomato based dish, with roots in north Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. Onions, garlic and tomatoes are simmered with earthy spices to create a rich tomato sauce, in which the eggs are then poached.
If you’ve never cooked it before, then it’s a brilliant recipe to add to your repertoire. There are numerous versions, most containing peppers, but here I have also added aubergines which soak up the sauce perfectly.
It makes an ideal brunch, especially when you are entertaining, but is just as delicious for dinner.
1 large aubergine (or 2 smaller ones), cut into 2-3 cm pieces
2 onions, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp harissa paste
2 tins of tomatoes
2 tsp sugar
6 free range organic eggs
Coriander or parsley, chopped – to serve
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the aubergine and season generously, then fry until golden all over and cooked through. You may need to add a drizzle of oil if it gets too dry. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add another tbsp of oil and fry the onions until they start to become golden. Add the pepper and fry until soft.
Now, add the garlic, paprika and cumin, and cook for a couple of minutes.
Next, add the tomatoes, harissa and sugar, along with a splash of water. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it gets too dry, add another splash of water.
Now, add the cooked aubergine to the pan and combine well. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Remember you will be adding the salty feta later.
Using the back of the spoon, make 6 wells in the sauce, and carefully crack the eggs into each one. Cover the pan with a lid or tin foil, and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the whites are set and the yolk cooked to your liking.
When ready, crumble over the feta, sprinkle with the coriander or parsley, and serve with plenty of bread.
Dominique’s love affair with food started as a child. Growing up in the Middle East to a Thai mother and British father, she was surrounded by flavours and cuisines from many different cultures. She has always loved trying new foods and began experimenting in the kitchen from an early age. Now living in London with three young hungry children, she spends more time cooking than ever! Find out more about her over on her Instagram @thewoolfskitchen
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