If there is a popular dish in Israel it is Shakshuka! A simple tomato based dish with a couple eggs added. So what's so special about that? In fact, I remember eating a similar dish for breakfast every morning while staying at a resort in St. Lucia.
I lived in Israel almost two years before trying the dish because it just didn't seem appealing. It was a nice tepid summer day and I wanted something light without dairy. The restaurant had a vegan Shakshuka and so I ordered. I did not expect what happened next. The hot dish came and I took a bite. The flavors were incredible, I was immediately transported to culinary heaven! And have not yet returned. I've been messing around the kitchen to create my own version of Shakshuka. The key is the Harissa spices, hard to find in the States, but I think I've got a fairly good replacement. So here goes:
First you need to make a . . .
sun dried tomato pesto:
1/2 - 1 Cup of Sun Dried tomatoes (Soak in water for at least 30 minutes)
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
pinch of Grey Sea Salt
Puree in Food Processor and set aside.
1 TBSP Turmeric
2 Tsp Cayenne Pepper (more or less depending on how you like spice)
1 TBSP Ground Cumin
1/2 Cup of Sun Dried Pesto
2 Tbsp of Spice Mixture
1/2 Onion (Red or White)
2 Cups of Tomato Sauce (16 oz)
2 Eggs (Vegan add Tofu)
4-8 oz of Goat Cheese (optional)
1/8 Cup of Pine Nuts (optional)
In you deep frying pan or I use a Terra-cotta cooking cylinder . .
Add olive oil and put on low heat
Add spice mixture and onion to olive oil and simmer until onions are translucent
Add Sun Dried Pesto and stir
Add Tomato Sauce and stir in with other ingredients and let simmer for about twenty minutes to blend flavors. If you are in a hurry you can jump to the next step.
Create two little openings for the egg in the tomato mixture
Add two eggs -- just crack them open and drop them in
Add hunks of the goats cheese throughout the mixture and let simmer till eggs are cooked and cheese partially melted
Top with Pine Nuts (Optional)
Enjoy it with your favorite bread or just alone! YUMMMMMMY!