Shakshuka with preserved lemons & feta
This recipe is from Alan Rosenthal's new book, Foolproof One-Pot. Alan is a local chef, food writer, caterer and teacher who creates delicious and imaginative dishes with his weekly Crop Drop veg bag. Find out more about him and his recipes on his website or follow him on Instagram.
Photo by Rita Platts @ritaplattsphoto
Shakshuka is a phenomenal one-pot dish that’s as good for supper as it is for brunch! Don’t be alarmed at the amount of virgin olive oil; the oil brings a fruity richness that’s offset by the salty acidity in the preserved lemons.
It goes without saying that tomatoes are the star of the show here so do buy the best tinned variety you can and use fresh during the summer when they’re at their finest. If you’re not keen on green peppers, feel free to use only red. I enjoy the savouriness that these bring to the dish, balancing the sweet vegetables.
125ml extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, finely sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 tsp cumin seed, lightly crushed
1 tsp carraway seed, lightly crushed
½ tsp isot pul biber or crushed chilli flakes
50g preserved lemon (skin and pith only, soft flesh discarded), finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
½ tbsp mild paprika
Salt black pepper
100g feta cheese
Fresh coriander or parsley
¼ tsp ground sumac
Heat the extra virgin olive oil in your wide shallow casserole pot over a moderate heat. Once hot, add the onion and peppers with a pinch of salt. Give everything a good stir and pop the lid on. Cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, giving it the occasional stir (keeping the lid on here will ensure the peppers soften).
After the vegetables have been cooking for 10 minutes, remove the lid and continue to cook for 5 mins to drive off some of the moisture that will have collected in the pan. You may need to raise the temperature very slightly to maintain the heat, now the lid has been removed.
Add the garlic, crushed carraway and cumin seeds, pul biber (or chilli flakes) and preserved lemon. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the tomato purée. Allow the mixture to cook for another 3 minutes or so, just to cook out the purée slightly and distribute it evenly amongst the other ingredients.
Add the chopped tomatoes and ½ a tomato can’s worth of boiling water. Stir through the mild paprika and season with a little more salt and some black pepper. Cook for 15-20 minutes over a moderate heat, stirring from time to time.
Once you can see the oils begin to settle on the surface of the mixture, have a taste and add more salt if you think it needs it; this is the last time you can season before adding the delicate eggs. Don’t forget the feta will also add a salty note to the dish, so be mindful of this.
Using a wooden soon, or the back of a ladle, make 4 wells in the sauce and crack in the eggs. Season each egg with a little salt and black pepper. Pop the pan lid back on and cook for 5-7 more minutes or until the egg whites have set.
Meanwhile, roughly chop 2 tablespoons of fresh coriander (or parsley if you prefer). Once the eggs are cooked, crumble over the feta followed by the chopped fresh herb and sumac.