This Harissa Shakshuka recipe is a classic dish of eggs simmered in spicy tomato sauce that will both delight and satisfy. Be sure to serve your Harissa Shakshuka (or, eggs in purgatory) with plenty of crusty bread for dipping!
The other day I remembered the New Year’s Resolution I set for myself for 2015. Yes, I’m talking about last year, not this year.
2013 was the year I gave up fast food (still going strong, except for 3 minor Taco Bell incidences we won’t talk about here)
2014 was the year I gave up drinking soda (except for one or two whiskey-coke incidences we won’t talk about here)
2015 was the year I decided to eat eggs.
Kind of a weird resolution, right?
Well, here’s the thing: historically, I’ve been a little anti-egg. Or maybe even a LOT anti-egg.
Growing up, my mom and dad used to make scrambled eggs on weekends (at the proper ratio of 1 part scrambled egg, 2 parts grated cheddar cheese on top), which I liked then and I still like now.
I’ve also eaten my fair share of omelets and frittatas over the years (also completely smothered with cheese).
I was always okay with eggs as long as the whites and yolks were blended together before they were cooked. I never liked the taste or texture of either the whites or the yolks when separated from each other.
No hard boiled eggs at easter
No dippy eggs for breakfast.
No Eggs Benedict for brunch.
Every time I told someone about my aversion to non-scrambled eggs, I’d receive a look of incredulity and a diatribe on what I was missing out on. I finally decided that 2015 was the year that I was going to learn to eat (and cook!) eggs of all kinds.
I failed pretty spectacularly at that resolution, but then came 2016 and the year when I gave up meat. I haven’t had any meat or fish since Christmas, and I’m seriously loving it.
I expected that I would eat a lot more vegetables, cut down on grocery costs, and maybe even lose a pound or two in the process.*
(*Side note: my niece, age 5, was visiting me last week and she grabbed a solid handful of my stomach fat and exclaimed “wow, look at all this!” I responded with “yes, honey, that’s what happy people look like!” #AuntParenting)
Anyway, I had some expectations about what might change when I stopped eating meat, but I definitely didn’t expect that I would suddenly become obsessed with eggs.
I’m eating a ton of fried and poached eggs lately and putting them on just about everything. My aunt was in town from Israel last week and she brought me a cookbook on Israeli cooking. I’ve been meaning to try my hand at Shakshuka, which some describe as a spicier version of the Italian dish known as eggs in purgatory.
The recipe in the book called for using dried and fresh chilies, but I decided to go North African with the dish and spice it up using harissa spice. I used a dry spice mix from Frontier, which you can grab on Amazon here.
You can easily substitute prepared harissa, like this one from Mina.
I’d say use a tablespoon of the prepared kind, or a teaspoon of the spice mix.
A lot of people eat these harissa eggs as a breakfast-for-dinner, but I like making it in the morning and enjoying it as a true breakfast. Depending on the day, I might use 2 teaspoons of the spice mix instead of just one. I’d suggest starting with one, tasting it, and adding more until it’s right where you like it.
Some people call this shakshuka harissa recipe, and I’m okay with it either way.
If you forget the crusty bread you might as well just go back to bed and start again tomorrow.
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Here’s the Recipe!
Harissa Shakshuka Recipe (North African Eggs in Purgatory Recipe)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon harissa spice mix
- 14 ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes - with juices
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 ounces goat cheese - thinly sliced into coins
- 2 eggs
- Crusty bread for serving
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat the olive oil in a oven-safe skillet set over medium-low heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onions and sauté until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and harissa; sauté until fragrant, about 60 seconds.
- Pour in the tomatoes and season the mixture with the salt and pepper. Simmer the mixture, using a wooden spoon to help break down the tomatoes, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Arrange the goat cheese slices around the pan and turn off the heat. Crack the eggs into a small dish, then add them to the pan one at a time. Season each egg with additional salt and pepper, then bake in the preheated until the whites are set, about 7-10 minutes.