Shakshuka in Plenty


Here as promised, is the meal I held back from the Plenty review. This recipe does anything but restraint. There are days that call for that, when you want a big ol’ flavour hit that refuses to compromise. Hearty, rough around the edges, and unapologetically so. Like a rugged man. Without the emotional availability issues.

It’s healthy, flavourful, a feast of colour and certainly of flavour. This Tunisian triumph, is the kind of brimming panful of food you place on the table when feeding the multitudes for brunch or lunch, though I am far from being opposed to having it for supper either. I like that reversed element of breakfast for dinner.

All that needs to be done, is to cook onions and peppers with some spices and herbs. After that, you crack in eggs to cook slowly, until whites are set but the yolks are still runny. You can can get ahead and cook it to the point that the eggs are added. Feta or any other sharpish cheese can be crumbled in and the spiky hit of meaty merguez sausages would not go  amiss. A judicious, or positively masochistic amount, of harissa mixed in, is a taste bud exploding option. A winning meal to make for vegetarians, or, if you leave out the egg, for vegans too. Another great thing is that you can serve this in one or a few big pans, or if it’s a more genteel amount of people, in individual flat bowls as I have done here. The only pre-requisite, is that plenty of bread is served alongside. I forgot that bit, but it didn’t dampen my enthusiastic greed.

The tangle of  spiced peppers, onions, tomatoes and herbs makes a rich, juicy, sweet-savoury forkful of food. The eggs, just complete the picture, adding a lighter but filling protein element. There are a lot of flavours and textures merging and mingling in this one pan, but no one element disagrees with another. For me, sweet mint tea is a must alongside.

And there you have it. Click here for the recipe, and site have recently updated it with a video of the man himself cooking a panful of Shakshuka. Even the sound of the word has a liveliness to it. If you don’t feel complete satisfaction, after the last torn piece of bread, has swiped the last vestige of sauce off the plate, then you are simply beyond my powers.

Simple, heartwarming food.

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40 comments

  1. a stunning set of images

  2. Rushi!

    How could one not love Ottolenghi’s recipes, that man is a genius :D I’m tempted to run to the kitchen and make a panful of Shakshuka (yes the name has a lyrical feel to it) and I know my hubby will love me more for it.

  3. Wow, beautiful pictures! Sounds really good!

  4. Sam-I-am

    Stunning! Love everything about this, especially the runny egg yolk bringing all the flavours together, my idea of culinary heaven (or mother love? My grandma cooked her sumack laden fried eggs this way, encouraging me to wipe the plate clean with my pita bread and the golden egg yolk and purple sumac would put any Van Gogh landscape to shame!). Beautiful post Caroline, beautiful writting, each element doing justice to the other while our taste buds are going WILD!!!

  5. I love those bowls! Perfect for sticking right in the oven, and right on the dinner table..

  6. “Like a rugged man. Without the emotional availability issues”… oooo yeah!!! hahhaa.. i like the sound of this ‘manly’ breakfast… maybe over the next weekend!!

  7. Oh Caroline you write so beautifully!! And with pictures to match. ‘masochistic amount of harissa’ who would have thought? But those words describe it so perfectly! And rugged man without the emotional unavailability issues- hilarious! I love egg meals. This one I must try for sure.

  8. great recipe. Think I’ll wait til winter for that hearty meal. In the meantime, I might design a bowl specially for it in my studio.

  9. Beautiful photos! I thought Shakshuka was eggs poached mainly in seasoned tomatoes, but it seems like peppers are the star in this version– that looks absolutely delicious! (I could eat this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.)

    • You are right Allison, the original is more of a tomato base. However, I love the addition of peppers here, gives a beautiful fruity element, and body too. I’d eat this any time of the day.

  10. This sounds like an amazing, deceptively simple dinner. Love it!

  11. this looks FANTASTIC. Something I definitely need to try to recreate!

  12. My gosh does this look fantastic. JUST got Plenty- I’ve been wanting this one for some time now- and it’s gorgeous. Just like your blog. Such outstanding photography. Really beautiful. Definitely going to give this recipe a try. Thanks!

  13. Oh my! such a beautiful dish, its like a colorful showpiece, Carrie. Had this dish been in front of me I would have kept looking at it. Its brutal to dig into it!!!! But I definitely will dig into it when I make this ,today itself :)

  14. Great post. I always need to be reminded, for some reason, to go look in PLENTY, and see if there’s something there that snags me before I start poking around elsewhere. Your photos may be better, by the way, than what’s in the book. Ken

    • Oh Shucks! That’s huge, thank you :-) I found Plenty to be a slow burner. Make a recipe and if you like it, make something else and before you know it, you will be singing it’s praises :-) One thing I found though, is to use your own instinct with the recipes. If you really don’t fancy chomping on lime slices, just use the juice..etc.

  15. I love that book and this dish, and your photos are just scrumptious! i agree that Ottolenghi should have you shoot his next book. :)

  16. Beautiful looking dish! I agree, this can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

  17. Pingback: shakshuka « bessiesveggiefood

  18. I absolutely love Shakshuka! I spent the summer in Israel surviving mostly on this amazing dish, and have made it a lot since coming back to the states. It’s always interesting seeing different cultures interpretations of the dish. I always do it with tomato sauce base, but I’ll def try this one next time!

    http://www.JaclynFreedman.com

  19. whatiatelastnight

    Not tried this one from Plenty yet, but now I want to. I LOVE your photography and beautiful food – you’re one very talented lady x

  20. This was just gorgeous- that last picture is everything I have ever wanted in life!

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