In cafés, my eye is often drawn to the shakshuka – a comforting, saucy brunch dish, predisposed to a good bread dipping (and for me, a perfect vehicle for lashings of Tabasco or my Jalapeño & Lime).
There are as many versions of shakshuka as there are condiments in my cupboard (well, almost) and the recipe here uses aubergines, which makes an ideal partner in crime for the rich tomato sauce.
But don’t just wait until your next brunch, it’s also makes for a healthy and substantial dinner as well.
I originally wrote this recipe for Balance Garden.
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.