Spring is here, and whether you started a victory flock of backyard chickens or just need a way to mix up your weeknight menu we highly recommend this Israeli breakfast-turned-anytime-meal for farm fresh eggs.  Tara suggests this recipe from New York Times Cooking, but her favorite version can be found in Michael Solomonov's Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking.  


This is a wonderful, homey dish that by its very way of being cooked is served straight from the skillet, most preferably a cast iron one. Depending on the size of your cast iron, you can make enough for a family dinner or a small or large gathering of friends. I have one iron skillet that can fit 12 poached eggs easily.

There is a great deal of versatility in this dish. I think the eggs are tremendous poached, which is the traditional method in this dish. My kids, however, like their eggs a little firmer. You can control the consistency by controlling the heat and time you leave to finish off the dish. I find for poached eggs, 3 minutes is about right, for medium soft boiled, 5 minutes.

Additions + Substitutions: 

I have come to love (and use almost exclusively) canned fire roasted tomatoes. They add a wonderful smokiness.  If you have time, grilling or blistering your peppers and onions before preparing the dish also brings a fantastic smokey complexity. Eggplant is a great substitution for the peppers--grilled or blistered beforehand makes it even better.  Add in some sun-dried tomatoes for added depth.  Lastly, if you like more heat in your dishes, top the dish with sliced, raw chilies.

I love herbs and cheese in about anything, including this dish. Cilantro is a standard topping to finish the dish but parsley, oregano and dill are also viable options. Feta is delicious on shakshouka but parmesean, or even cotija, is great in a pinch.

For me, bread is almost as essential as eggs to this dish. You need it to mop up all the wonderful sauce on your plate. Crusty, soft-crumbed bread here is my favorite!