Aside from food, my greatest passion is travel. There’s a quote that I love that sums it up pretty nicely for me: “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”
I’m especially infatuated with travel to places where I feel like I’m really far from home – somewhere with an entirely different language, set of customs, and – of course – an exotic (to me, at least) food scene. When I’m daydreaming of driving to the International Departures terminal but life dictates that I stay home instead, I crack open my cookbooks and cook something with its origins someplace very far from my New Jersey kitchen.
Shakshuka is a traditionally North African dish (also very popular in Israel) that is essentially poached eggs in a spiced tomato sauce. It’s often eaten for breakfast, but really can be enjoyed all day long. I’ve been long wanting to try Shakshuka, so when I was recently asked by a client to make a veganized version, I was excited to get to work on developing my spin on the recipe. Since I love chickpeas pretty much any time of day, I used them as my replacement for the eggs. A meal doesn’t feel complete to me without some sort of green vegetable, so I wilted earthy Swiss Chard into the pot as well, and the result was something really comforting, subtly spicy, and really nourishing. I love that you can eat this year round, any time of day, and it only uses one pot! Feel free to sub in any dark leafy green for the chard – thinly sliced collards or spinach would both be excellent.
Chickpea and Chard Shakshuka
Servings: Serves 3-4
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and finely chopped
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 (15.5 oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 cups tightly packed chopped Swiss chard leaves
Warm pita bread or cooked couscous, for serving
Heat olive oil in a large, straight sided saute pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and Fresno chili and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, turmeric, coriander, Aleppo pepper, and black pepper. Stir to combine. Let simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add chickpeas and Swiss chard. Cook, stirring occasionally, an additional 5 minutes, or until chickpeas are warmed through and Swiss chard has completely wilted. Serve immediately with warm pita bread, or atop cooked couscous or quinoa.
Shakshuka will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.