I’ve wanted to post about shakshuka for ages. Probably one of my favorite vegetarian dishes ever, I’ve only not written about it here because it was first introduced to the food blog world by Smitten Kitchen (adapted from Saveur), and it’s a pretty good bet that if ya’ll are here reading this now, you’ve already have seen it on Smitten’s site.
I make shakshuka a lot. Often. Year-round. So much so that the dish has morphed into summer and winter versions at Casa SoupAddict. My summer version is made for the grill, full of smoky vegetables at their summer peak (recipe here, on my other blog).
The winter version is earthy and savory from a mound of fresh mushrooms and a kiss of dried porcini goodness.
Here, I used the good ole reliables, cremini and shiitake. But soon, morels will be in season and, I can tell you, this dish goes right over the edge with fresh morels and dried porcinis.
There is an egg in there, in case you were wondering — it’s just hiding under the thick sauce, smack dab in the center. I love polkable yolks. There’s just nothing like that first bite of sauce mixed in with the golden richness of a soft yolk! [Happy sigh.]
If you’re not an ovo-vegetarian (or an egg-eating omnivore), just leave out the eggs — the sauce is that good! Just make sure to serve over rice, quinoa or farro for a filling meal.
inspired by smittenkitchen.com
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1 small handful, dried mushrooms, preferably porcinis
2 tablespoons olive oil (plus additional, as needed)
1 medium sweet onion, diced
12 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (shiitake, cremini, button — use your favorites)
2 jalapeno chiles or 1 serrano chile, seeded and diced (or, leave the seeds for a significant kick of heat)
1 small red bell pepper, diced (optional)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika (I usually use smoked)
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
feta cheese, crumbled, for garnish
flat leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish
cooked rice (optional)
Soak dried mushrooms in a 1/2 cup very hot water for 20 minutes.
Heat oil in a large, deep skillet or dutch oven over medium until shimmering. Add onions and cook until glassy, about 5 minutes. Add fresh mushrooms, stir well to mix, then cover and cook until the mushrooms have given off most of their liquids, about 10 minutes. Remove the rehydrated mushrooms from their soaking liquid (reserve), chop and add to pan, along with the chiles and peppers.
Scoot the contents of the pan to one side to create an clear space. Add a teaspoon of oil and let heat briefly. Add the garlic to the oil, along with the cumin and paprika. Stir to create a paste, then thoroughly mix in with the other vegetables.
Add the tomatoes and the reserved mushroom liquid. Increase heat to medium-high, bring sauce to a gentle boil. Reduce back to medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste, and add salt and black pepper as necessary.
Crack the eggs carefully into the sauce and cover the pan. Cook until the egg whites are opaque and the yolk is just short of set (5-10 minutes).
Sprinkle a little salt on the eggs, then sprinkle the parsley over the sauce. Add rice (if using) into individual bowls and spoon on the sauce, making sure each gets one egg. Top with the feta cheese.