Shakshuka + hummus

Two Octobers ago I ate Shakshuka for at least 14 days straight. You think I’m joking, but I was on a roll. I love the market in early fall because you still get peppers, tomatoes and eggplant, but it’s cooler so you feel like turning on the oven or letting a sauce simmer.

I had bought an insane amount of veggies with no plan and then remembered all these Shakshuka recipes I had seen. Many from the incomparable Ottolenghi and another from Green Kitchen Stories. Then I was hooked. When one batch ran out, I quickly made another. I even froze some for Shakshuka emergencies.

This is pure comfort food. I like mine with a pile of cilantro, but parsley will do the trick too. In deep winter, I’ll use roasted peppers instead of fresh or leave them out completely. Most recipes will include harissa, but it’s not something I always have, so I just throw in a touch of red pepper flakes. In short, have fun with it as it’s super flexible. And delicious.

Shakshuka with hummus
Serves 4

Shakshuka:
1 28-oz canned tomatoes
1 onion, diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ tsp red chili flakes (or to taste)
1.5 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp dried oregano
sea salt
extra virgin olive oil
cilantro, for garnish
4 eggs (pasture raised if possible)

Hummus:
½ dried garbanzos, soaked in fridge for 24 hours
1 garlic clove, peeled
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ cup tahini
2 TBS lemon juice
~⅓ cup cooking water
¼ tsp cumin
sea salt

Sweet potatoes:
2 sweet potatoes, sliced into thin rounds
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

Prep garbanzos:
Soak garbanzos at least 24 hours ahead. Drain and add to medium pot. Cover with fresh water by about 1 inch. Add in garlic clove, baking soda and ½ tsp salt. Cook for 1-2 hours until very soft. Let cool. Drain garbanzos keeping cooked garlic and reserving cooking water!

Hummus: 
In a food processor, add garbanzos, cooked garlic, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, sea salt and 1/3 cup of cooking water. Blend until smooth, adding lemon juice, salt or cooking water as needed. (Lemon if it needs a little more tang, salt if bland, water if too thick). 

For shakshuka: 
Coat the bottom of a wide skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion until translucent and soft, about 8 minutes. Add peppers. Cook for another few minutes. Add garlic, red chili flakes, cumin and cook for another minute. Add tomatoes, a pinch of salt and let simmer on low for 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle in dried oregano. Taste for seasoning. To cook eggs, make 4 little indents and carefully break each egg open in the indent. Cover skillet and cook until egg is desired doneness. Serve with cilantro, hummus, and sweet potatoes. 

Sweet potatoes: 
Preheat oven to 400'. Arrange racks in lower and top third. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and salt and spread between two baking sheets so they fit in a single layer on each sheet. Transfer sheets to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate sheet pans (from lower rack to upper and visa versa). Cook another 10 minutes until crisp on edges. 

Notes: the recipe pictured above includes some ripe fresh tomatoes. They were on their last legs, so I threw them in and got a little more sauce (more like 6 servings and added spices generously to adjust). I learned that Italian recipes will often use "qb" after salt or olive oil. Quanto basta--as much as needed or to taste. Unless otherwise specified, this is what I mean with salt and olive oil.