Shakshuka for a Quick Dinner During the Holidays

By on December 9, 2016

Time is in short supply this time of year. Between shopping, and working, and going to parties, and hosting parties, no one has a minute to spare.
But wait a minute.

You still have to eat don’t you? Here’s a Tunisian Shakshuka, a one dish dinner that started in Tunisia but quickly spread all over Northern Africa, then the middle east, and became popular with cultures worldwide, including Jews and Arabs. We all want to claim this one.

And why not? The dish is quick to fix, easy to eat, wholesome and delicious. Some cultures serve it for breakfast. Others prefer it for dinner.You can adjust the heat by how much harissa you put in it, harissa being the Tunisian hot sauce they add to everything. And why not? It’s delicious.

The dish begins with pure Tunisian extra virgin olive oil, Terra Delyssa, readily available in American supermarkets and online, see Amazon. I use this olive oil for everything from dressing salads, to sauteing. It’s my go-to brand.

makes 4-6 servings

3 tablespoons Terra Delyssa extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon harissa paste (or to taste)
One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons sugar OR to taste
kosher salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground caraway
1/2 bunch baby spinach
6 to 8 large eggs

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and cook just until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste and harissa and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Slowly pour in the tomatoes. Stir in the bay leaf, sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, p and caraway and let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in spinach and stir to mix.
Crack the eggs into the tomato mixture. Cover and simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the whites of the eggs are no longer translucent.
Serve from the pan with warm bread.

About Linda Eckhardt

Linda West Eckhardt, is an award winning journalist, food writer, and nutritionist. Her more than 20 cookbooks have garnered prizes including the James Beard prize for the best cookbook for a text she wrote with her daughter, Katherine West DeFoyd, entitled Entertaining 101, Doubleday. Their follow-up book, Stylish One Dish Dinners, Doubleday, was also nominated for a James Beard prize. Their next book, The High Protein Cookbook, Clarkson Potter, remains a best seller after 12 years. That book was designed to accompany low carb diet plans. Her ground-breaking book, Bread in Half The Time, Broadway Books, was named the Best Cookbook in America by the prestigious IACP, The Julia Child award. Her award winning radio work with Jennifer English, for a national show on the Food and Wine radio network, was nominated for a James Beard Prize for a show called, “I Know What You Ate Last Summer.”