A taster from my new cook book Healthy Eating for Life due to be published on January 8th 2014–my birthday!
We had it for lunch today–with some green beans, as suggested in the recipe–spiced up with a couple of ripe tomatoes and feta.
A traditional North African favourite, this version is adapted from a recent discovery in Ottolenghi’s sumptuous vegetable cookbook, Plenty.
The name means “mixture” in Tunisian–better to stick to Shakshouka I reckon!
It is often served in individual cast iron pans, which I imagine adds to the pleasure–one pan and ALL for ME!
It makes a pretty picture on the plate—a perfect light summer lunch.
1/2 tsp cumin seeds–dry roasted in a medium pan
1 large onion–red or yellow, sliced
60ml/1/4 cup olive oil
2 red peppers--washed, deseeded and sliced thin
1 bay leaf, thyme leaves from a few sprigs, 2 tablespoons of parsley
3 large fresh ripe tomatoes or tinned [canned]–roughly chopped with the juices
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper and a pinch–a few strands–of saffron (optional)
¼ cup/60 ml water
2 or 4 eggs
salt and pepper
Dry roast in a small frying pan the cumin seeds for a minute or two, taking care not to burn them.
Heat the oil in the pan over a medium-high flame and cook the onion for 5 minutes to soften it.
Add the peppers and three herbs (bay, thyme and parsley) and turn everything over thoroughly.
Cover the pan for 5 minutes to start the softening of the peppers.
Cook a further 5 minutes uncovered.
Add the tomatoes, the water, a little at a time to avoid diluting the sauce, the two spices (cayenne pepper and saffron) and season with salt and pepper.
Cook for 15 minutes on a low heat–covering for a short time if you think the peppers need further softening.
The result should be a lightly spicy sauce in which to poach the eggs.
Carefully break the eggs (2 or 4–your choice) into the sauce–leaving space between them.
Cover the pan and cook, over a lowish heat, until the eggs are cooked to your taste.