Recipe: Summer Shakshuka
One of our favorite events every summer is The Sylvia Center’s Farm-to-Table dinner, hosted by Great Performances in the fields of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. The mission of The Sylvia Center is to inspire young people and their families to eat well through hands-on learning experiences on the farm and in the kitchen. Kristen Jovanelly, garden educator and manager at The Sylvia Center, offers us recipes the teenagers are learning to make.
As the post-summer bounty begins to fill up the prime real estate that is your vegetable crisper, we offer a summer dinner super champion here to save the day, a dish by the tantalizing name of shakshuka. You may have heard of this Tunisian dish before; it graces brunch menus with its tempting runny eggs poached in a spiced tomato sauce. But you can make it yourself. This dish tastes even better when it comes out of your own kitchen.
When you realize the amount of flavor you can achieve within 30 minutes of cook time, you’ll wonder where shakshuka has you been all your life. Perhaps it’s the harissa that really elevates the flavors of shakshuka; the spicy and aromatic chile paste used in North African and Middle Eastern cooking can be found in the ethnic cooking section of most grocery stores. Or maybe it’s the way that the feta crumbles so exquisitely on top. Or maybe it is every thing in this dish paired so perfectly together that makes you crave the way that shakshuka warms you up. Especially when you use fresh garden tomatoes, it is perfect.
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons harissa
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 onion, diced
3 large bell peppers, diced
1 large eggplant, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. ripe tomatoes, diced
8 oz. feta cheese
Salt and pepper
1. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add harissa, tomato paste, peppers, eggplant, onions, garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt. Sauté until peppers and eggplant are soft, about 8-10 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook mixture until you have a thickened sauce, about 10 minutes.
3. Make 8-12 depressions in mixture with the back of a ladle. Crack an egg into each depression. Simmer shakshuka for 8-10 minutes or until the egg whites are set but yolks still runny. Cover pan with lid to increase cooking temperature if needed.
4. Remove from heat and sprinkle feta on top. Serve immediately.