On one unseasonably warm January morning in Brooklyn, NY, my husband Cam and I chanced by a little gastropub called Lighthouse and realized we were both starving. We sat ourselves at the bar and with a quick scan of the menu knew we’d found something special. As we chatted with the owners (and siblings) Assaf and Naama, we learned how they brought their Israeli culinary roots to New York. I couldn’t resist ordering the shakshuka-a dish I’d never even heard of before, but knew I’d instantly love. How could I not love eggs poached in a tomato-pepper stew with a name that sounds like some fantastical old-woman dance? One spoonful, and I swore that if I could only eat one dish for the rest of my life, this would be it. Make a double batch, and you can have it for dinner too.
Makes2 hearty breakfast
Cooking Methodbaking, sauteeing
Total Timeunder 1 hour
OccasionCooking for a date
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationgluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian
Mealbreakfast, brunch, dinner, lunch
Taste and Texturesavory
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
- 2 Anaheim peppers, finely chopped
- 2 serrano peppers, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons harissa
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 eggs
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and add the cumin seeds, shaking the pan every once in a while so they toast evenly. When the seeds are quite fragrant, about 1 minute, drizzle the oil into the pot, add the onions, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent and a bit caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the peppers, paprika, harissa, and the tomatoes with their juice. Increase the heat to medium, and bring the stew to a gentle simmer, cooking until the peppers soften and the juice starts to reduce, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat as necessary to keep the stew at a low simmer.
Remove about half of the stew from the pot and puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add the puree back to the pot and cook for another 10 minutes. When the stew is nice and thick and luscious. it’s time to cook the eggs.
In the same pot (or divide the tomato mixture between 2 small pots), create four shallow indentations with a bit of room between them and drop 1 egg into each. Cover the pot and cook for another 4 minutes, or until the eggs are set the way you like them.
Lighthouse serves this dish with a drizzle of tahini and grilled bread on the side to cut through some of the spice.
2013 Lara Ferroni