My husband and I love travelling, especially to Israel, and we always try to visit Jerusalem while we are there. On our most recent trip, we stayed in the heart of Ein Kerem neighbourhood at the romantic Alegra Boutique Hotel where we enjoyed delicious Shakshuka for breakfast – a simple egg recipe that everyone will enjoy! Nothing else has quite compared since then, and after browsing for a few versions of it, we finally agreed that Ottolenghi’s Shakshuka, from his book Jerusalem, will be
our go-to recipe at home. This vegetarian dish is perfect for a lazy weekend brunch or a quick-and-simple midweek supper.
Shakshuka (from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Pilpelchuma or harissa paste
2 tsp tomato purée
2 large red peppers, cut into 0.5cm dice (300g in total)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
5 large, very ripe tomatoes, chopped (800g in total); tinned are also fine
4 medium free-range eggs
4 egg yolks
120g Labneh, or thick yoghurt
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the pilpelchuma or harissa, tomato purée, peppers, garlic, cumin and ¾ of a teaspoon of salt. Stir and cook on moderate heat for about 8 minutes to allow the peppers to soften. Add the tomatoes, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for a further 10 minutes until you have quite a thick sauce. Taste for seasoning.
Make eight little dips in the sauce. Gently break the eggs and carefully pour each into its own dip. Do the same with the yolks. Use a fork to swirl the egg whites a little bit with the sauce, taking care not to break the yolks. Simmer gently for 8–10 minutes, until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny (you can cover the pan with a lid if you wish to hasten the process). Remove from the heat, leave for a couple of minutes to settle, then spoon into individual plates and serve with the labneh or yoghurt.