Easy dinner recipe: #MeatlessMonday shakshuka

Spice up #MeatlessMonday with an easy recipe for shakshuka

Running out of #MeatlessMonday ideas? OK, we know it's nearly impossible. But if you're bored with cheese pizza, vegetable casseroles and veggie burgers, here's something new to try.

It's called shakshuka. If you're familiar with this Middle Eastern/North African dish, bear with us.

Shakshuka involves a rich, spicy tomato sauce made with cumin and harissa. The sauce acts as a bed for soft-cooked eggs. You can add extra vegetables, preserved lemon, olives, Greek yogurt — whatever your heart desires.

In Israel, shakshuka is commonly eaten for breakfast, but feel free to make it anytime. Just make sure you have plenty of crusty bread, pita, or challah around. 

SHAKSHUKA

Total time: 40 minutes | Serves 2 to 4

Note: This recipe is based on one by Sami Tamimi in his and Yotam Ottolenghi's “Jerusalem.” Harissa from different sources can vary in heat; taste before adding and adjust accordingly.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 red bell peppers, cored and cut into 1/4-inch lengthwise slices (about 1 1/2 cups)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 to 2 tablespoons harissa

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 cups chopped tomatoes (about 3 tomatoes)

1/2 teaspoon pimentón de la Vera

4 eggs

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Labneh or Greek yogurt

1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced peppers, salt lightly and cook, stirring frequently, until the peppers have wilted and begun to soften, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the onion and cook until it has softened, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and continue cooking until that becomes fragrant, about 1 minute.

3. Add the harissa, tomato paste and cumin and cook until the mixture becomes richly fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and the pimentón and cook until the mixture forms a thick sauce, about 7 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add more harissa if desired.

4. Using the back of a spoon, make 4 depressions in the sauce and crack an egg into each. Sprinkle lightly with salt, cover the pan and cook until the eggs are set, about 10 minutes.

5. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over the top and serve immediately, with labneh or Greek yogurt on the side.

Each of 4 servings: Calories 199; Protein 9 grams; Carbohydrates 13 grams; Fiber 4 grams; Fat 13 grams; Saturated fat 3 grams; Cholesterol 186 mg; Sugar 7 grams; Sodium 377 mg.

I've eaten shakshuka in Jerusalem. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_

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