I spent an entire year in Israel about 18 years ago (holy cow, I just did the math and can NOT believe it’s been that long, or rather that I am so old, ha ha!) and not once did I taste shakshuka, which is pretty standard on the breakfast menu over there. I love everything about Israeli breakfasts, so of course, when I finally tasted Shakshuka, I loved it too!
The first time I tasted shakshuka was when I first met my hubby’s good friends (basically adopted family) in Florida. It was on our first trip there soon after we were married. That was my first trip to Florida and it was one crazy adventure, one that we always laugh about to this day, but my favorite memories are of meeting his super sweet family and eating their delicious shakshuka.
The trip started out with us not hearing our alarm go off, oversleeping and nearly missing our flight. My sweet friend Devorah, who was taking us to the airport, thankfully called us panicked to see why we weren’t waiting for her. I can still see the image of my hubby still putting on his shoes as we pulled up to the airport and frantically running to our gate, things flying out of our suitcases.
Once we arrived and got settled we realized we would need to rent a car. On the way to the car rental location, being that this was my first time in Florida, my hubby started showing me a map (I know!! It was 2001 people. No gps. No smartphones, good old maps and I am still not sure how I managed to get anywhere back then!) of the area, so I would know my way around. I didn’t (and still don’t) know how to read maps, but being the sweet newly-wed wife that I was, I listened intently to everything he was telling me.
Anyways, we rented the car. He drives our friend’s car and I drive our rental back home. Back in those days we only had one cell phone and the battery had died. (some things never change) But it shouldn’t have been a problem because I was going to follow him, driving right behind him, all the way back home.
That was a good plan. But, as soon as we pulled out of the parking lot, he didn’t realize the ramp to the highway that we needed was right there and he quickly merged and got on. I wasn’t so quick and missed the ramp and there began my adventure of finding my way “home”, on my own. No cell phone and I didn’t even know the address of where I was going. Ooops. Anyways, as I panicked I tried to recall the street names he had mentioned when showing me the map earlier and low and behold an hour later, I made it back home. I still don’t know how I pulled that off.
The part that I find funniest looking back today, was when I got home. My hubby and our friends were nervously and anxiously waiting for me and were standing jaws dropped when I calmly walked into the house and simply shared how I found my home. Our friend stood there, looking at me as if I fell from the moon. I couldn’t figure out what I had done wrong. Until she started telling me that I should yell at him! I can’t believe he did that to you. Who just leaves their spouse high and dry with no way to get home? Why are you so calm? Ha, ha. I guess I was truly a newlywed and back then nothing he did got me upset. Those were the days! 🙂
And that is when I first tasted shakshuka and then started my shakshuka love affair.
Shakshuka is now a staple in our home, especially on those nights when you need something quick and filling. Quick, did you hear me? This recipe takes 5-10 minutes from start to finish. I know… now we’re really talking!! 🙂 And, with lots of protein and flexibility in all the add-ins and toppings, you can make your own signature dish that is super filling and flavorful, in no time at all. Serve with some brown rice or quinoa on the side and you are good to go.
Isn’t it wonderful how certain foods can evoke strong feelings or memories? I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbspn avocado oil
- colored peppers, diced optional
- Broccoli florets (frozen also works) optional
- Spinach, a few handfuls optional
- 1/2 jar garlic/basil tomato sauce
- 1 can crushed tomatoes
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Parsley or Basil, a handful
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- black olives, slices optional
- avocado, diced optional
sautee onion and garlic cloves in the avocado oil.
add the optional veggies
add garlic/tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes
season with salt and pepper
cover and cook until rice is ready
add eggs, parsley and/or basil and feta
Cover and cook for another few minutes
Optional: Serve diced avocado and/or black olives