Roasted Tomato Shakshuka

Sometime last week the weather turned a new page and I think Jerusalem has transitioned to spring with summer strolling closely behind. The sun is bright and warm, with a breeze that hits your face for cool relief. It’s perfect. But then I realize how short the chilly, winter days were and I kind of wish the comfort of soups and stews would stay a little longer. The nights still hold a little bit of both seasons, which makes for dinner possibilities in either direction. Shakshuka, I think, satisfies both categories.

Shakshuka has become such a trend the past few years, for good reason. I’ve seen it prepared in such diverse ways that I’m not sure the term defines anything other than tomatoes and eggs. There are recipes that call for marinara sauce, some call for grated tomatoes, others call for pureed tomatoes. I’m certain they’re all worthy but I won’t give up the method I use for shakshuka. It starts with fresh tomatoes, roasted and skinned and then left to simmer until saucy and thick, with as much chile pepper as you can handle. I season with paprika, cumin, salt and pepper for depth and flavor. It makes the perfect bed for barely set eggs and a swoop of warm baguette.

I can’t believe I’m this late to the shakshuka party but truthfully this party started when I was a little girl. My mother would make a large pan for laid back Sunday evenings and it’s been my favorite dinner. The only thing that’s changed is that now I don’t ask her to reheat it until the yolks are chalky yellow. That makes me feel all grown up.

Roasted Tomatoes Shakshuka


20 medium tomatoes, rinsed

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

1 red bell pepper, sliced

½ chile pepper

8-10 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

5-6 eggs, rinsed

Cilantro, for garnish



Preheat oven to 425F. Place tomatoes in a baking dish and roast for 25-30 minutes, turning around once halfway through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until comfortable to the touch. Peel the skin off the tomatoes and roughly chop, discarding the tough core. This can be done 1-2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

In a large skillet, pour the olive oil and add the chopped tomatoes, bell pepper, chile pepper, and garlic. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook for 15 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash the tomatoes as much as you can. Season with paprika, cumin, salt and pepper and give everything a nice stir. Cover and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. Uncover and, using a spoon, make 5-6 wells within the tomato mixture. Carefully drop an egg into each well. Cover and cook for 4 minutes for runny yolks. Top with cilantro and serve with fresh bread.