Southerners have Fried Green Tomatoes. In Palestine, they have Shakshuka. Here author and restauranteur Rawia Bishara gives her very interesting spin on this dish. There are tomatoes, but also tomatillos and poblanos. It’s Palestine-meets-Mexico via the United States.
The name “shakshuka” means “eggs in purgatory.” I think this dish is actually more heavenly! It comes from Rawia’s new cookbook Levant. My review is right here!
The recipe below calls for Hot Pepper Paste. If you want the authentic flavor here, I encourage you to get your own copy of Levant. Short of that, you can use diced hot peppers.
Green Tomato Shakshuka
Yield: 4-8 servings
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
- 4 shallots, thinly sliced
- 7 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 poblano chiles, thinly sliced
- 2 long hot chiles (or 1 small green bell pepper for milder tastes), thinly sliced
- 7 small Arabic squash (a type of bulbous, green-striped summer squash) or 2 large zucchini, cut into ½ -inch-thick slices
- 6 large or 10 small tomatillos, husks removed (or 4 large green tomatoes), washed and cut into ½ -inch-thick slices
- 2 medium yellow tomatoes, cut in ½ -inch-thick slices, or 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Hot Pepper Paste (page 212)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 large eggs
- Crated halloumi cheese, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large, nonstick ovenproof skillet, heat ¼ cup of the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for about 5 minutes, until starting to soften. Add the garlic, poblanos, long hots, and squash and cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Remove to a plate.
Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to the pan and add half of the tomatillos. Do not stir. Cook until the tomatillos just begin to color on one side, about 3 minutes, then flip them. When the second side begins to color, about 3 minutes more, remove the tomatillos to a plate. Repeat with the remaining tomatillos, adding more oil to the pan if it looks dry. Leave the second batch of tomatillos in the pan. Top with the reserved squash mixture, followed by the reserved tomatillos and the yellow tomatoes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, hot pepper paste, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and black pepper and spread the mixture evenly over the vegetables. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 to 8 minutes, until all the ingredients have softened. If the mixture starts looking dry, add up to ½ cup water.
Uncover the skillet and evenly drizzle the remaining ¼ cup of oil over the vegetables. Using a spoon, make shallow indentations in the mixture, and carefully crack the eggs over the top. Place the skillet (uncovered) in the oven and bake until the whites are set and the yellows are cooked to your liking, 5 to 8 minutes for runny or 10 to 12 minutes for firm.
Sprinkle the top with grated cheese, if using. Switch on the broiler and place under the broiler until just melted. Bring to the table and serve immediately, straight from the pan.
Source: Levant by Rawia Bishara [Kyle, 2018]