Recipes

Vegetable Shakshuka with Pesto

Have you ever tried shakshuka? It’s a North African specialty similar to the Italian dish Eggs in Purgatory (Uova in Purgatorio). Shakshuka is basically eggs poached in a quick, spiced-up, homemade tomato sauce.

In late-summer, shakshuka is also a great way to incorporate some more garden bounty into your meal.

I use two kinds of tomatoes in my shakshuka: plum tomatoes, because their flesh is so meaty, and a beefsteak tomato for its flavor and juiciness. Whir them in a blender or food processor and then simmer into a sauce with sautéed scallions and garlic.

At this point, you can add what you have available: spinach leaves, coarsely chopped if they’re large; fennel, shaved into strips; or something golden, like pattypan squash, summer squash, or golden zucchini, very thinly sliced. The extra vegetables make the tomato sauce substantial and chunky.

When it’s time to poach the eggs in the sauce, use the back of a spoon to create four shallow indents for the eggs to sink into. They’re finished when the whites are just set, but the yolks are still runny. Garnish with dabs of pesto and fresh basil leaves.

Ingredients

  • 4 plum tomatoes, cored and cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 medium beefsteak tomato, cored and cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 cup water, or more if needed
  • 1 yellow pattypan squash, 1 medium summer squash, or 1/2 golden zucchini
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup pesto, homemade or store-bought
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)
  • Baguette or thick slices of bread, to serve

Equipment: