Shakshuka is the delightful name for a Tunisian dish of eggs poached in a piquant tomato-and-pepper sauce. Although originally from North Africa, shakshuka is an iconic Israeli breakfast food, and recently it has become quite trendy as brunch fare in the United States as well. This works for breakfast or a quick meatless dinner if the mood strikes. An electric pressure cooker is the perfect tool for poaching eggs so that the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. With a loaf of crusty bread or some warm pitas to soak up the sauce, shakshuka is welcome any time of day.
Cooking the eggs for 0 minutes may sound odd, but it takes several minutes for the electric pressure cooker to come up to pressure and the eggs are actually being cooked during that time.
NOTE: Harissa is a spicy (but not too spicy), fruity chile paste popular throughout North Africa and the Middle East. It’s an important ingredient in Mediterranean dishes that have a hint of heat, like shakshuka, but is also used frequently as a condiment. It typically includes sweet and hot peppers, garlic, olive oil and a variety of warm, earthy spices like cumin, coriander and caraway. You should be able to find jarred harissa in grocery stores that stock a good variety of international products, or look for it online.
Excerpted from Instantly Mediterranean by Emily Paster with permission from the publisher, Tiller Press. Copyright © 2021 by Emily Paster.
- 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp harissa
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, with their juices
- 2 tsp sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- 2 scallions, white and light green parts only, sliced
- labneh or plain Greek yogurt, for serving (optional)
- Pour the olive oil into the inner pot of your electric pressure cooker. Select the Sauté function and set the heat level to “Less.” When the oil is shimmering, after about 2 minutes, add the onion and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, harissa, cumin and salt and stir to combine. Sauté for a few minutes more, until fragrant. Press Cancel to turn off the Sauté function.
- Add the tomatoes (with their juices ) to the pot, crushing them with your hands or using a wooden spoon to break them up. Add the sugar and stir to combine.
- Close the lid and make sure the pressure release valve is closed. Select the Pressure Cook function and set the cooking time to 5 minutes at high pressure.
- When the cooking program is complete, release the pressure manually. Remove the lid and stir the tomato sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Carefully crack the eggs into the sauce, taking care not to break the yolks. Close the lid and make sure the pressure release valve is closed. Select the Pressure Cook function and set the cooking time to 0 minutes at low pressure.
- When the cooking program is complete, release the pressure manually. The whites of the eggs should be set but the yolks should still be runny.
- Divide the sauce and eggs between two bowls. Top with the cilantro (if using) and scallions. Add a dollop of labneh or yogurt (if using) and serve.