This is a rendition of the popular North African dish Shakshuka, which is enjoyed in many Mediterranean countries. I prefer adding chickpeas to the bright and flavorful tomato sauce to make the dish take on a stew-like quality. The sauce is simple and straightforward to prepare. The key to this recipe is poaching the eggs just right so the whites are fully cooked and the yolks are warm and runny. This vegetarian family meal should be served with something to soak up the sauce like baguette, pita bread or steamed rice.
Mediterranean Tomato-Poached Eggs with Chickpeas
- 4 Servings
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Calories: 247
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 28 oz canned tomatoes, diced, no-added-salt
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp za'atar spice
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, no-added salt, drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 eggs
- 1 bunch fresh basil, thinly sliced
- ground black pepper
Add olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Add garlic, shallot and bell pepper to hot pan. Season with a dash of salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Be careful not to overcook or burn.
Stir in paprika and cumin. Then add diced tomatoes and bay leaves, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered for about 8-10 minutes, adding chickpeas halfway through.
Next, stir balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup sliced basil into the pan. Remove bay leaves and discard.
Use a spoon to create a small well in the sauce near the edge of the pan to poach an egg. You may crack each egg, one at a time, into a small bowl. Then pour the egg directly into the tomato sauce well, being careful to exclude any egg shell and keep the yolk intact. Repeat this process for each egg in a separate tomato sauce well. Then add a pinch of za’atar and salt and freshly ground black pepper atop each egg. Cover pan with lid and cook on medium heat, for about 5 minutes, until whites are cooked through and yolks remain runny.
Remove pan from heat, uncover and garnish with additional sliced fresh basil. Serve immediately.