Discover a new way of eating with Brother Hubbard’s fresh, pure flavours dedicated to sharing and happiness. Leaning towards aspects of Middle Eastern and Southern Mediterranean food, The Brother Hubbard Cookbook is packed with nutritious, wholesome, often deceptively vegetarian dishes that emphasise flavour, colour and texture. These shakshuka baked eggs are perfect any time of the day!
Shakshuka baked eggs
I first discovered this amazing dish via my food hero, Yotam Ottolenghi, who published a recipe for it in his weekly column in the Guardian. Having made it a few times, I fell in love with it, so much so that following further research as to where Mr Ottolenghi got his inspiration, I travelled to the old town of Jaffa in Israel and visited Dr Shakshuka, a lovely little restaurant famous for doing a variety of different shakshuka dishes. I even managed to talk my way into their kitchen, where I got to cook a few shakshukas alongside their chefs! This recipe varies slightly from how I saw it being done to reflect the reality of cooking at home, but it’s no less delicious.
extra virgin olive oil
3 mixed peppers, deseeded and cut into 1cm-thick slices
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes or 8 ripe tomatoes, cut into 1cm cubes
1–2 dessertspoons harissa (page 325 or use shop-bought)
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp caster sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
150–200g feta cheese, crumbled
4 slices of good bread, toasted just before serving
knob of butter, softened
50g fresh herbs (parsley mixed with mint, dill and/or
Heat a dessertspoon of oil in a saucepan set over a medium heat. Add the peppers and cook for 10 minutes or so, until soft but not falling apart. Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 5–8 minutes, until the tomato is softened (if using ripe tomatoes) and you have a chunky-style sauce. If you’re using tinned tomatoes, you might need to cook it for 5 minutes longer so the sauce reduces.
Add the harissa, spices, sugar and some salt and pepper, stirring it in well, and cook for a further 2 minutes. Now taste the sauce, adding more spice, harissa, salt, pepper or even an extra pinch of sugar if it needs it. It should be a wonderfully rich and flavourful sauce with a bit of a spicy hit and it should also be very thick, almost like a stew, so keep simmering if you need to reduce it a bit further.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 180°C. Get 4 individual ovenproof bowls ready. Place a good tablespoon of crumbled feta in the bottom of each bowl, then divide the sauce evenly across each of the bowls, leaving a 1cm gap at the top so it doesn’t boil over in the oven.
Alternatively, if you’re serving a lot of people at once, you could just as easily do this in one big batch in a larger flat dish, like a lasagne tray. The depth of the sauce in the bowl or tray should be 3–4cm.
Using a large spoon, make an indentation for each egg, so that means 2 indentations per bowl. Crack an egg into each well and sprinkle a little freshly ground black pepper over each, then crumble the remaining feta around the eggs. Pop the dish(es) into the oven and bake for 8–12 minutes, until the eggs are cooked to your liking. This can be a little tricky – you want to cook them until each egg is just right, but it’s no harm to take it out of the oven a little earlier and let it sit so the eggs continue cooking while you bring it to the table.
To serve, put a slice of toast (spread with some butter or a drizzle of olive oil) on each plate to serve alongside the shakshuka. Scatter a generous amount of fresh herbs over each dish, but try not to hide the feta and eggs too much in doing so, as the rich red of the sauce and the colours of the peppers, the white of the feta and eggs and the vibrant green of the fresh herbs should all be visible.
TIPS AND TRICKS
This is an ideal vegetarian breakfast, brunch, lunch or supper dish, but carnivores can add pan-fried chorizo on the side to make it more substantial as a meal.
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