August 20th, 2015

Heirloom Tomato Shakshuka

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Shakshuka has been on my list to make for quite a while, but last year the harvest ingredients never quite lined up! Shakshuka is an Israeli (or Tunisian depending on who you ask) dish, that’s so simple and flavorful you might want to just stop reading and go make it. There are hundreds of variations, so feel free to addour own twist. Our heirloom tomatoes with one very spicy jalepeno made the perfect sauce, so sweet and flavorful. Any variety of tomatoes will work, or in a pinch use a 28 oz can of whole tomatoes, diced or stewed. Really there’s no rules. Crumble some feta or parsley over the top if you have it, or enjoy as is. We certainly did!

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I grabbed 3 jalepenos as they were coming in from harvest, but after tasting I only needed 1 to make mine very spicy! Any variety of hot pepper will taste great here, I recommend you slice off the stem and then taste the stem end to see how spicy it is. If it’s very spicy remove the seeds and use as much or as little as you like. If you prefer a mellower dish, try a sweet pepper in it’s place or omit altogether. Make sure you tilt the cutting board over the pan and get all the tomato juice. Heirloom tomatoes are often enjoyed raw, but I really can’t emphasize how great they tasted in this sauce! They cooked down perfectly with no other liquids added.

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Heirloom Tomato Shakshuka

4 cups diced tomatoes
1 (or more) hot peppers
1 small onion, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt

4 eggs
bread, tortillas, or pita to serve

Heat a shallow pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, heat until shimmering, and then put the onions, garlic, and hot peppers in the pan. Saute 5 – 8 minutes until onions are soft and turning translucent. Add the cumin, smoked paprika, with tomatoes and their juices to the pan, bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer tomato sauce for about 20 minutes, until sauce is thickened and not watery. Taste and add salt if necessary.

Use a spoon to make 4 wells in the sauce, then carefully crack one egg into each well. Keep simmering for about 4 minutes, watching the eggs carefully. When the whites are mostly set, turn off the heat and cover for a few minutes until the yolks are cooked to your liking. You can always turn the heat back on if the eggs seem underdone, but you can’t back off once they are cooked too much.

Spicy shakshuka with a sauce made from fresh heirloom tomatoes.

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