Yet one more ingenious Mediterranean way to combine the garden’s vegetables with eggs and make a hearty, fast and enticing dish!
Usually it is served as an appetizer but it is quite filling and I prefer it as a main course for lunch or dinner, complemented with good bread –my own, of course.
Shakshouka means “a mixture” in Arabic slang, and the dish is believed to be of Tunisian origin. Another theory is that chakchouka derives from a Berber word used for vegetable ragout. According to a cookbook about the cuisine of Jerusalem the name’s origin is the Hebrew verb leshakshek (to shake).
Whatever its roots, the dish is served all over the Middle East, and recently all over the world!
PHOTO BY ANASTASSIOS MENTIS
The best shakchouka I’ve tasted was served in a restaurant called Doctor Shakchouka, in Jaffa, Israel. The owner brings the dish to the table in the skillet in which it is cooked, and diners dip big pieces of crusty bread into it, devouring them instantly.
Similar to huevos rancheros, shakchouka or chakchuka gets its delicious flavor from the hot and fragrant chilies of the Mediterranean, and of course from vine-ripened summer tomatoes of any kind.