​Stovetop Shakshuka

This one-skillet dish of eggs poached in a stew of tomatoes, bell peppers, and heady spices has its origins in North Africa, but lately it’s been turning up on tables everywhere. Shakshuka interpretations abound — many with lengthy ingredient lists that include other vegetables and complex seasonings. This version, adapted from Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street: Cook What You Have” (Voracious, $35), takes a shortcut with harissa, a multilayered blend of sweet and hot peppers and Mediterranean spices now widely available — in paste or sauce form — in supermarkets, often near the salsa. Shakshuka makes a fast, filling, and healthy weekend brunch, as well as a simple supper that needs only a pita or hunk of crusty bread to complete.

Serves 3 to 6.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 1 medium fresh red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced; or ½ cup drained and thinly sliced bottled roasted red peppers
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic large cloves, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons harissa paste or sauce (or to taste)
  • 4 to 6 large eggs
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, mint, or a combination
  • Warm pita bread or crusty French bread for serving
  • Optional garnishes: crumbled feta, chopped olives, plain yogurt

Instructions

  • Heat a large skillet with a lid (preferably nonstick) over medium-high and add 2 tablespoons of the oil.
  • When shimmering, add the fresh or roasted sliced peppers, onion, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden-brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, 1 tablespoon of the harissa, and ½ cup water, and bring the mixture to a simmer. (Taste and add more harissa if you prefer it spicier.) Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the onions and bell pepper are very tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low. With the back of a large spoon, make 4 to 6 (depending on the number of eggs) evenly spaced indentations in the sauce. Crack one egg into each indentation, then sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
  • Cover and cook until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny, 5 to 8 minutes, rotating the skillet halfway through.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and sprinkle with herbs.
  • Serve the shakshuka from the skillet at the table, with a drizzle of olive oil, warm bread, and any desired garnishes served on the side.

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