SHAKSHUKA WITH FETA

shasshoulaThis New York Times recipe comes from Melissa Clark.  I made it for a brunch — delicious. Shakshuka is originally a North African specialty, and there are numerous variations. In Israel it is often a breakfast food.   It is a one skillet egg concoction with the eggs resting atop a spicy tomato-red pepper sauce.  Clark’s version adds feta.  I cannot remember much about the Palestinian version I had in Abu Dhabi, except that I loved it.   Shakshuka can also be a perfect main course vegetarian dish.  This recipe serves 4 o 6.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste

1 (28 ounce) can whole plum tomatoes with juice, coarsely chopped

3/4 teaspoon salt, more as needed

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more as needed

5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)

6 large eggs

Chopped cilantro for serving

Hot sauce for serving

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil in large skillet over med.-low heat.  Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes.  Stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne and cook 1 minute.   Pour in tomatoes and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes.  Stir in crumbled feta.

Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

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