Like many Mother Earth News readers, we love going hard core, eating as much from our organic-growing fields as possible. In our case, we now consume upwards of 90 percent of what we grow, “gift exchanging” for the rest with our vibrant community of organic farmers and soil sisters (usually for organic eggs, pork or grassfed beef).
While soups are great during the winter months, we’ve discovered the versatile shakshuka recipe of poached eggs in strewed tomatoes and vegetables can satisfy any time of the year. Our son Liam first introduced us to this traditional North African dish of a mixture of vegetables, plus spices. We’ve savored it ever since.
When prepared in the winter months, we simmer our ingredients in a large saute pan over the cook-top of our Lopi Endeavor woodstove. We use our frozen tomatoes, peppers and onions pulled from our chest freezer. Wonderfully, the fragrant smells of the dish linger for hours in the farmhouse.
During the summer months, the recipe can easily incorporate fresh, abundant seasonal vegetables as they’re harvested, like zucchini, broccoli, spinach or even asparagus.
Shakshuka Recipe: Poached Eggs in Stewed Tomatoes and Vegetables
Yields 6 servings
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1/2 cup summer sausage (or other cured meat), diced
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayanne pepper
32 oz. peeled blanched tomatoes, or frozen tomatoes (defrosted and peeled)
1/2 cup water
6 large eggs
3 tbsp. crumbled feta or goat cheese
1 tbsp. parsley
salt and black pepper to taste
Optional Ingredients and Vegetables:
1/2 cup to 1 cup mushrooms
1/2 cup to 1 cup bell peppers
1/2 cup to 1 cup broccoli
1/2 cup to 1 cup spinach
1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat and add onions. Once onions are softened, add diced summer sausage and cook until the fat has been rendered and the sausage begins to crisp. Add any vegetables that you'd like to use (some suggestions listed above) into the pan and cook until they begin to soften. Season with cumin, oregano, turmeric, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Mix seasonings with vegetables for about a minute to release flavors.
2. Pour in tomatoes and water. Stir to incorporate with existing vegetables and de-glaze the bottom of the pan, if needed. Simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables have become soft and the sauce has started to thicken. Test and adjust sauce for seasoning, flavor, and spice level. Adjust thickness by adding additional water if needed.
3. Using the back of a large spoon, make a depression for each egg in the sauce. If your sauce is too runny to do so, increase the heat and let it simmer until it thickens further. Crack an egg into a small ramekin and then gently transfer the egg into the depression in your sauce. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Season the top of the eggs with salt and pepper. Sprinkle feta or goat cheese on top of the sauce. Place lid on pan and let simmer until cheese is softened and eggs have reach desired firmness, typically 10 to 20 minutes.
4. Remove pan from the heat and top with parsley. Serve dish hot with fresh bread or pitas to soak up the sauce
Lisa Kivirist, with her husband, John D. Ivanko, a photographer and drone pilot, have co-authored Rural Renaissance, Homemade for Sale, the award-winning ECOpreneuring and Farmstead Chef cookbook along with operating Inn Serendipity B&B and Farm, completely powered by renewable energy. Kivirist also authored Soil Sisters. As a writer, Kivirist contributes to MOTHER EARTH NEWS, most recently, Living with Renewable Energy Systems: Wind and Solar and 9 Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living. They live on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin with their son, Liam, and millions of ladybugs. Read all of Lisa’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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