Although we don’t have it all that often, shakshuka, whether a more traditional or a meaty version, has become a firm favorite for when we actually get round to enjoying a proper bunch. The mix of flavors and the heartiness of the vegetables, egg and (for us at least) bread dipped in to mop it up can be just the thing at the weekend. Especially as it’s tasty and filling without feeling like you are going to give yourself a heart attack. Recently I was having another of my moments thinking how to use some of the things in the fridge and I got to thinking about creating a green version of shakshuka, using kale, leeks and green pepper. I decided to try eggplant/aubergine instead of tomatoes – and even managed to find some green ones to keep with the theme! – along with a little cream to give the familar softness and a little sauciness. When topped with an egg, feta and plenty herbs, the resulting dish was truly delicious. I know it’s another brunch-like dish after another not so long ago, but this was both too good not to share soon, plus I felt (slightly) bad that the croque monsieur croissants were a bit indulgent for anyone on a January diet – this dish gives you great flavor while being pretty healthy.
Kale is an ingredient I have mixed feelings on – I want to like it and know it’s good for you and I have a few recipes that use it that I really like, such as this salad, but I do find it harder to use as it gets colder as I don’t have so many go-to ways to cook it that I like. This shakshuka changes that, though – it’s cooked kale that I can actually get excited about. The flavors of the herbs, the slight sweetness from the leeks and saltiness of the feta along with the soft comforting eggplant, cream and egg make for a delicious dish that I ate in a matter of minutes when I made it.
This green shakshuka is even quicker to make than a regular shakshuka as the base doesn’t need as long to cook down and the kale cooks very quickly as well. All you need to do is soften the leek and pepper, add the eggplant/aubergine and cook a few minutes until soft. Then add the kale and herbs and wilt it down, stir in the cream followed by the egg and feta on top. Cover and leave until the egg is cooked, bearing in mind it will continue to cook a little after you stop cooking ( I’d suggest so the white is cooked but only just so the yolk will be runny and mingle with everything as you eat, but do it to your taste). Serve up and enjoy, recommended with bread on the side.
The quantities below are for a single serving cooked in a small skillet/frying pan but you can of course multiply up the quantities for more people. Shakshuka is most traditionally served as a single portion in the pan but you can also cook it in a larger pan and serve it up on plates.
This makes for a wonderfully filling and tasty brunch but you could just as easily have it for lunch or dinner. It also just happens to be pretty great health-wise too (ok, the cream might not be but there’s only a little and you could swap it out for milk or even stock if you like) so you can feel good about enjoying it too. It might not be that pretty, but don’t be put off, it’s a delicious pan of goodness you’ll be wanting to make again and again.
- 1tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup (approx ⅓ - ½ of a leek) diced leek
- ½ a small green pepper, cut in long slices
- 3½oz/ 100g eggplant, diced
- 3oz/ 85g kale (weight without stems), roughly chopped
- 2tbsp roughly chopped cilantro/coriander
- 2tbsp roughly chopped parsley plus more to serve (approx ½-1tbsp more)
- ¼cup/4tbsp/60ml cream (suggest heavy/double)
- 1 egg
- 2oz/ 55g feta cheese, cut into small cubes or broken up
- Warm the oil in a small skillet/frying pan and add the diced leek. Cook for a minute then add the peppers and eggplant. Cook, stirring now and then, until the vegetables are all fairly soft - around 5mins - but not brown.
- Add the kale to the pan and stir it in so that it wilts. Add the cilantro, parsley and cream, stir it all so it is well mixed and heat a minute so the cream starts to simmer.
- Create a slight well in the middle and crack your egg into the well. Scatter the feta over the top and cover the pan with a lid. Leave a couple minutes until the egg white cooks but only just as the egg will continue to cook after you takes it off the heat.
- Serve with a little more parsley over the top, suggested with bread on the side.