I was looking for another savory breakfast food when I was reminded that for years I’ve thought about making the Middle Eastern egg and sauce dish called shakshuka.
There were no hard-to-find ingredients; it just never quite made the cut when I was looking for something new to try. Until this week.
My now-beloved Cook It In Your Dutch Oven cookbook even had a recipe all ready for me. Sure, it’s a different take than the traditional — it has a green sauce rather than a red tomato-based one. But that sounded even better. I can always use more greens in my diet.
The recipe turned out fine, if not my favorite. It calls for adding herbs in at the end, though I think adding them to the base sauce and then again at the end would be better — so that more of their flavor seeps into the sauce but also has the fresh zip that their late addition adds. (I should add that my sweetie quite liked the dish so maybe I just don’t appreciate greens as much as I should.)
Other than that, be prepared to buy a lot of Swiss chard, and preferably the kind without red stems if you want it to look vibrant green rather than my brownish-green.
Here’s what I did, roughly following the recipe (though changing some proportions):
- 3 bunches Swiss chard, stems removed and reserved and leaves chopped
- 12 oz. baby spinach
- ¼ c. olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt, to taste
- 2 t. ground coriander
- ½ c. vegetable broth
- 1 c. frozen peas
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 8 eggs
- 4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 T. chopped dill (I recommend more for sauce)
- 2 T. fresh mint (I recommend a little more for sauce)
- 1 t. dried Aleppo pepper, optional (I had on hand but it’s a mild crushed pepper so regular crushed pepper isn’t a good substitute unless you want to add a little spice)
Chop chard stems to yield 1 cup. Discard the rest or save for another use.
Heat Dutch oven on medium heat. Add 2 T. olive oil. Add the chard stems, onion, and a pinch of salt. Cook until softened and lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and coriander, and cook for about another minute.
Add the chard leaves and spinach (I had to do it in batches so they would wilt down), and cook until wilted but still green, about 3 to 5 minutes. Here I’d recommend adding some herbs for more flavor, to taste. Remove the mixture from heat and add 1 to 1 ½ c. of the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth, about a minute. Stir the blended mix back into the Dutch oven.
Add lemon juice and peas, and stir.
Place back on heat, medium to medium-low. Make 4 indentations in the mix and crack 2 eggs into each indentation. Sprinkle with Aleppo pepper, if using, and more salt as desired. Cover the pot and cook until egg whites are just set, 5 to 10 minutes (You have to keep a close eye on it). Remove from heat and let sit, covered, until the whites are fully set, another 2 to 4 minutes.
Add the herbs, feta, and drizzle with more olive oil.
Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!