Shakshuka is the Mediterranean version of Huevos Rancheros in Mexico and Uova en Purgatorio in Italy, and the Arabic word for “scramble”. Eggs are poached in a gently spicy tomato sauce. It is a favorite breakfast dish from Morroco to Israel. Our slow cooker version utilizes tofu for the eggs and garnishes it with a Yogurt Tahini Sauce. This tomato-based sauce, which you cook first, is gloriously thick and we add a bit of vegetables. You need to finish the dish with hot sauce, so plan accordingly if you made the sauce ahead and need to reheat.
Cooker: Medium or Large Round or Oval
Machine Setting and Cook Time: Spicy Tomato Sauce High Heat: 3 to 4 hours/Shukshuka High Heat: 1 hour
Spicy Tomato Sauce
1 large white or red onion, diced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 whole cloves garlic, peeled
2 (28-ounce) cans whole plum tomatoes with juice, crushed with your hands
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 large red bell pepper, seeded, stemmed, and chopped, or roasted bell pepper (page XX)
1 carrot, grated (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup)
1/2 jalapeno, seeded
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon cracked pepper flakes, such as Aleppo, or few shakes of hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
6 fresh basil leaved, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon butter
Yogurt Tahini Sauce
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste, raw or toasted), well-stirred
1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
4 tablespoons lemon juice (2 whole lemons)
2 teaspoons ginger juice (finely grate a 2 inch piece of ginger, then squeeze out the juice)
Pinch sea salt
2 (14-ounce) packages firm tofu, drained, rinsed, and cut into large cubes
2 cups (like 2 handfuls) baby spinach leaves
1 cup (4 ounces) feta cheese, cut in bite-sized cubes, optional but good
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves
In a medium skillet, cook the onions in the olive oil until soft, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Place the onion and garlic, tomatoes and their liquid, tomato sauce, bell pepper, carrot, jalapeno, honey, pepper flakes, paprika, turmeric, and dried herbs in the cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours. Add the basil, if using, season to taste with salt and pepper, and add the butter. Use a handheld immersion blender to purée the sauce; you can leave it a bit chunky. Ready to use hot, or cool to room temperature and refrigerate up to 3 days, or freeze in batches.
Make the Yogurt Tahini Sauce. Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine, or in a small food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a storage container, cover, and refrigerate until serving.
To finish the Shakshuka. Add the tofu and push down into the sauce. Stir in the spinach leaves and stir to collapse into the hot sauce. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Stir in the feta cubes and sprinkle with parsley or cilantro over the top. Serve in bowls or individual gratin dishes with crusty warm bread or fresh pita for dipping in the sauce, a pepper grinder, and yogurt tahini sauce for drizzling. You can also eat this with a side of sauerkraut or hummus and chopped fresh ripe tomatoes.
Indian Tofu Shakshuka
Substitute 4 teaspoons your favorite mild or hot curry powder (such as Sun-brand Madras style, Penzey’s Hot Curry Powder, or McCormicks Gourmet Curry Powder) for the basil and turmeric.
Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook, by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann. (c) 2005/2017, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.
Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2017
Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.