The fact that it’s taken me almost 10 years to find a new version of shakshuka to fuss over, is as much a testament to the superbness of the classic as it is a compliment to these new additions. Shakshuka, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is a North African dish, largely Tunisian, of eggs baked in a spicy tomato sauce. It’s also one of the most beloved recipes in the Smitten Kitchen archives, right up there with broccoli slaw and my mom’s apple cake, and for good reason: it’s about the highest calling of eggs-for-dinner I’ve found, and I think we know how hard I’ve studied this category. This recipe takes it a step further into the realm of a stew, with chickpeas and kale, and it comes from a wonderful book out this past spring, Family, by Hetty McKinnon.
McKinnon got her start in Sydney, Australia almost 10 years ago with a salad-delivery service she ran out of her home kitchen and biked the deliveries around town, which sounds amazing right now, doesn’t it? Now in Brooklyn, she co-founded Neighborhood Studio, a communal cooking space. Family, her third cookbook, focuses on vegetarian comfort food with an eye towards the daily ritual of cooking, however your family might look, and it might be my favorite yet. It’s incredibly down-to-earth about weeknight cooking; you get the sense that these are recipes that have really worked for her family while keeping the people who cook from finding it a drag. I’ve made the spinach and halloumi gozleme, the cacio e pepe broccoli with white beans (I mean, talk about all of my favorite food words in one title), I’m eager to try the tofu larb, but this, this is the dish I’ve now made three times since May and don’t expect to stop any time soon. It’s hearty and comforting, so perfect for this first day that really feels like fall.
Six months ago: Essential French Onion Soup and Cannelini Aglio e Olio
One year ago: Crispy Spinach Pizza
Two years ago: Pizza Beans and Chocolate Tahini Challah Buns
Three years ago: Homemade Merguez with Herby Yogurt and Magic Apple Plum Cobbler
Four years ago: The Perfect Manhattan, Broccoli Cheddar Soup and S’more Cupcakes
Five years ago: Latke Waffles and The Crispy Egg
Six years ago: Frico Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Seven years ago: Crackly Banana Bread and Spaghetti with Broccoli Cream Pesto
Eight years ago: Apple Pie Cookies
Nine years ago: Single-Crust Apple and Crumb Pie
Ten years ago: Date Spice Loaf and Lebanese-Style Stuffed Eggplant
Eleven years ago: Summer’s Last Hurrah Panzanella, Sweet and Sour Glazed Cippoline, Majestic and Moist Honey Cake, and Best Challah (Egg Bread)
Twelve years ago: Red Velvet Cake, Noodle Kugel, Spaghetti Fideos with Chorizo and Almonds and Couscous and Feta-Stuffed Peppers
Thirteen years ago: Acorn Squash with Chile-Lime Vinaigrette
Chickpea and Kale Shakshuka
Make the stew portion whenever time permits — I would even expect it to freeze well — then rewarm it on the stove and drop in eggs closer to when you’re ready to eat it. I’ve omitted the oven step in this recipe, because I found (mostly by forgetting to read the recipe) that it cooks just fine on the stove.
- Olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 a jalapeño pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 15-ounce cans cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 3 1/2 cups)
- 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes (1 3/4 cups)
- 1/2 cup (125ml) vegetable broth or stock
- 4 ounces kale, stems removed (I use a package from the salad greens section)
- 1 cup (150 grams) feta, crumbled
- 4 to 6 large eggs (shown with 6)
- 1 tablespoon za’atar
- Handful of mint leaves, chopped
- Toasted pita wedges, to serve (optional)
- Dollops of plain Greek yogurt, to serve (optional)
In a large, deep frying pan or low Dutch oven* casserole dish, heat a glug (1 to 2 tablespoons) olive oil over medium heat and, once, add the onion, garlic, spices, and jalapeño and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the tomatoes, stock, and chickpeas plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt and several grinds of black pepper and stir to combine, bringing the mixture to a simmer, lowering the heat if necessary to keep it from bubbling too hard. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add kale and cover again, cooking until the greens have wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Adjust seasoning if needed. Make wells for eggs and break an egg into each. Sprinkle eggs with additional salt and pepper, and whole dishw ith feta. Cover and simmer for 6 to 10 minutes, until the whites are set but the yolks are runny.**
To serve, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with za’atar and mint, and serve with pita wedges and plain yogurt, if you wish.
* I’m using this pot, the pan that’s gotten the most use in my kitchen for the last five years.
** The trickiest part of any baked egg dish is getting the eggs exactly right, neither undercooked or hard-boiled. I vote for checking them as often as needed and rotating the pan as needed to avoid a hot spot ruining a single egg. Most importantly, ask yourself: Am I eating this the second it comes off the stove or 10 or even 20 minutes later? If so, you can take them off ever-so-slightly wiggly in the whites because they’ll continue to set as the pan rests.
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