Shakshuka (or shakshouka, or chakchouka or…) is a Mediterranean dish of eggs cooked in a spiced tomato sauce, sometimes served with feta – or other salty cheeses – crumbled over the top. Is it breakfast? Is it lunch? IS IT BRUNCH? Who’s to say. My favourite foods straddle that invisible line between morning and evening meal; potatoes, while not featured in this recipe, are the epitome of this for me – eggs come in a close second. So versatile! So delicious! So cheap.
Unfortunately, every single recipe for shakshuka I’ve come across has had peppers in it (a staple since the dish evolved to become vegetarian), but since I’d rather not poison my wife, I’ve had to leave those out. I’ve used plenty of spices and it’s not lacking for flavour, but you will find no peppers in the ingredient list. Or in my house, actually.
This particular shakshuka has been given a protein lift with the addition of puy lentils, which serves to bulk it up and make this an incredibly filling meal. Also I just really like lentils. I’ll add ’em to anything.
This is a hearty, protein-packed, ONE-POT MEAL, which we all know is the best kind of meal (well, second best – free meals are top dog). You could serve this with some bread, but it’s more than robust enough to stand on its own two feet*.
Lentil Shakshuka with Goat Cheese (Vegetarian, Gluten-free)
Serves 2 (6sp per portion)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Wide, medium saucepan with lid; cutty-stirry bits**; a deep, abiding hunger for lentils.
- 350g jar crushed tomatoes (or 400g tin chopped)
- 250g cooked puy lentils (or 400g tin green lentils)
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 2 medium red onions
- 1tbsp tomato puree
- 1 vegetable stock cube, splash of water
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp chilli flakes (more if you like things spicy)
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt (can use regular if you don’t have this)
- Generous amount of black pepper
- 1/2 bunch coriander (roughly 10g)
- 2tsp vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 70g goat cheese
- Get your pan on a medium heat and add the oil. Finely dice the onion and garlic and add to the pan once hot, stirring frequently and cooking for around 5 minutes or until softening. Once the bite’s been taken out of the onion, add the lentils to the pan (if using tinned lentils, drain and rinse them first), then add the cumin, paprika, chilli flakes, garlic salt and pepper. Stir and leave to cook for another 5 minutes.
- Stir in your tomatoes, tomato puree, vegetable stock cube and a splash of water (just enough to loosen it slightly). Finely chop the coriander and add 2/3 to the pan, leaving the leafier bits for later on, then stir everything to combine. Cook for a further 5 minutes, then turn the heat up slightly – it’s time to add the eggs.
- Create four shallow wells in the mixture, evenly spaced apart, and crack an egg into each one. Put the lid on the pan and cook for 7-10 minutes until the whites are completely cooked – if you poke ’em with a wooden spoon and they’re springy but not wobbly, you should be golden.
- Divide the eggs and lentil-tomato mixture between two serving bowls, then crumble over the goat cheese and sprinkle over the remaining coriander. Voila – a truly inauthentic but nonetheless delicious “shakshuka”!
Isla and I really loved this, and I was hecka pleased with how it turned out. We’ve got some limitations in this household (I’m trying to get a little more trim, and of course there’s the whole pepper allergy thing to contend with), but this manages to be passably healthy without compromising on flavour. I hope that anybody who gives this a go enjoys it as much as we did!
*No feet were harmed in the making of this dish. I think I got some errant cat litter on the bottom of mine? But it didn’t hurt, per se – it was just annoying. Thanks for listening. You’re always so good to me.
**Knives, cutting board, wooden spoon, miniature gardening shears, etc.