As a cash-strapped graduate student, there are few things I miss more about my previous life with a full-time job than the ability to brunch when and where I please. And while it may seem like not having to do any actual cooking is an integral glory of weekend brunch, in this case, it is well worth the extra effort. Besides, when you are cooking at home you don’t have to wait an hour for a table and another half hour for your food. Some might even argue that expending some energy on cooking could help subdue any lingering effects from the previous night’s activities–or so I’m told. And did I mention the part where no one hands you at a check at the end of the meal and you can wear your pajamas for the whole ordeal?
If you’ve never tasted shakshuka, you are in for a treat. Essentially eggs in a bath of bell peppers and tomatoes, it is a hearty but healthy meal that keep you satiated until dinner time. It hits all the grad student checkpoints: cheap, easy-to-make, and relatively good for you, but I promise you will enjoy it whether you are working towards a degree or not!
Recipe from Jerusalem: A Cookbook
Makes 2 hearty portions
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons harissa (I prefer a spicy variety)
2 large bell peppers, very finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
5 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped
4 eggs plus 4 egg yolks
yogurt, for serving
pita, for serving
Heat the olive in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the harissa, bell peppers, garlic, tomato paste, cumin, and salt, and cook until the bell peppers have softened, about 8-10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, let the mixture come to a simmer, and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until the mixture has turned into a thick sauce. Add more salt and/or cumin if needed.
Create 8 little dips in the sauce, and gently place the egg and egg yolk in the dips. Use a fork to move the egg whites around gently to help them cook. Gently simmer for about 8 minutes, until the whites are cooked but the yolks are still custardy.
Remove from heat and let settle for a few minutes. Plate and serve with thick greek yogurt and toasted pita.