For the very rare occasion that I fancy something savoury for breakfast, I always turn to Shakshuka (sorry to my beloved porridge!). Poached eggs in a rich tomato base, with heaps of flavour (pairs great with bread).
The base is super versatile, personally I ALWAYS start with garlic and onions (your tastebuds BBFL). But then you could add chilli and paprika, or go for basil and chopped black olives, or coriander and cumin. You can add all sorts of different vegetables too; try shredded brussel sprouts, peppers, aubergines or butternut squash.
You can easily cram in 2-3 portions of vegetables in there, and there’s some gut-bacteria loving garlic in there for extra measure. Eggs are also a good source of protein (7g per egg), which will tide you over until your next meal (no one likes a hangry person).
I’m sharing one of my basic shakshuka recipes, and I’ve given you some additional ideas that you may wish to try if you’re feeling experimental!
What you’ll need:
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large red or white onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped OR 1/4 tsp red chilli flakes (this can be altered or removed to taste, for the chilli lovers and haters)
2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
small bunch of fresh coriander or parsley if you prefer, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 400g cans cherry or chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Chopped avocado, feta or seeds
You may wish to add a handful of chopped mushrooms, butternut squash, shredded sprouts or aubergine to your mixture for extra texture, antioxidants and fibre. Vegans could option for drained, rinsed chickpeas instead of eggs.
Heat your oil in a frying pan that has a matching lid (essential for cooking the eggs at the end) at a medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, pepper and any other vegetables you wish to cook (note that if you choose aubergine, it may require more time to cook). Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions and vegetables are soft.
Add the tomato paste, cumin, paprika and chilli/chilli flakes. Cook for a further 2-4 minutes. You can add salt and pepper to season at this point too.
Add the tomatoes and the coriander or parsley. Stir the mixture and simmer. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Taste and check the consistency. If there is more fluid than you would like, you can cook for a little longer to allow some of the fluid to evaporate.
Once the consistency is right for you (not too thick, not too wet), make 4 little wells in the mixture and add a whole egg in each. Place the lid back on the pan and cook on a low heat for 6-8 minutes. Your whites shouldn’t be transparent, and the yolks should be slightly rise. Do remember that the eggs will continue to cook in the residual heat from the mixture and the pan, so you may want to take them a little bit sooner. For this reason, it is best served immediately!
You can serve with sprinkled seeds, avocado, fresh herbs or feta. I personally always have some fresh bread to hand. I recommend some seeded sourdough or olive bread!