By now, many people know the simple joys of “breakfast for dinner”. Easily thrown together meals, usually egg-centric, made predominantly with pantry ingredients.
When I’m in a food bind, I’ll often opt for breakfast classics to feed the family – grilled cheese sandwiches, potato omelettes, avocado on toast or, if I have overnight rice in the fridge, fried rice with freezer veggies, just like my mum used to make.
Shakshuka, traditionally a breakfast dish from Israel, the Middle East and North Africa, is a stew of tomatoes, onions and spices, with gently poached eggs floating within.
At our house it is a dinner staple as it ticks all the weeknight cooking requirements – it takes no time to throw together, I usually have all the ingredients on hand in my pantry or fridge, and, best of all, everyone around my table loves it.
I’ve used fresh tomatoes for this shakshuka recipe, but canned whole tomatoes are also fine. I also like to add some legumes and leafy greens to my sauce to make the dish even heartier. Here, chickpeas are my legume of choice, but it’s perfectly acceptable to sub in cannellini beans, butter beans or lentils. The greens add a fresh earthiness to the stew – I’ve used kale but you could also opt for baby spinach, silverbeet, chard or even frozen spinach. Top with feta if you want an extra hit of saltiness.
Chickpea and kale shakshuka
Extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1kg tomatoes, roughly chopped (or 800g canned whole tomatoes)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp harissa paste (or ½-1 tsp red chilli flakes)
1 tsp smoked paprika
250g cooked chickpeas (from 1 can, drained)
½ bunch kale, leaves picked (about 80g kale leaves)
Handful of mint and parsley leaves
sea salt and black pepper
To serve: pita bread or sourdough
Place a large frypan on medium-high heat. When hot, drizzle with olive oil and add the onions. Reduce heat to low and cook the onions for 4-5 minutes until softened and starting to caramelise.
Add the garlic, cumin and coriander, stir for 30 seconds, and then add the tomatoes, sugar and salt, pepper, harissa (or chilli flakes) and smoked paprika to the pan. Stir, and allow to simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce is thickened slightly.
Add the chickpeas and kale. Stir, taste, and season with sea salt and black pepper, if required. Make six pockets in sauce and break one egg into each, making sure the eggs are evenly distributed around the sauce.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes, until the egg whites are just set. Sprinkle over some sea salt and black pepper, drizzle with oil, and scatter over the herbs. Serve straight from the pan, with bread to mop up the sauce.