Green Shakshuka! Raising your eyebrows, perhaps? If you are a regular on LinsFood, you’ll know that every summer, if I’m around (and not travelling with the family), I try and grow tomatillos, those tart, green Mexican tomatoes. However, this is the first year, that I’m taking the time to make “real” recipes with them and blog about those recipes. You can read more about them here.
So far, we’ve had the Mexican Salsa Verde (of course!) and we’ve had the Tomatillo and Jalapeño Margarita. This Green Shakshuka with Tomatillos was just waiting to happen, after all, shakshuka is predominantly tomatoes, and tomatillos are tomatoes, right? Ok, kind of. Same family, anyway!
The Green Shakshuka is a delightful combination of tangy, herby and earthy flavours with a touch of heat.
What I find absolutely strange is that I don’t have a recipe for the real Shakshuka here on LinsFood. How can that be, when it’s one of the most requested dishes when I cater to brunches? And one of my favourite ways of serving them is in little tagine dishes, as in the picture below. Obviously something I need to remedy, and very soon. But for today, let’s just focus on the Green Shakshuka.
The challenge in making this recipe was how much of the original recipe to change; do I stick pretty much to the original and just switch ingredients colour for colour? My concern was that I wasn’t going to get enough depth in the sauce as when I make the regular red Shakshuka. I always use sundried tomato paste, which is like a secret weapon for me, for so many tomato based sauces.
In the end, I decided to close my eyes (in case it went a horrible brown!), take a deep breath and add some sweet smoked paprika. The paprika definitely lends additional flavour and that all important intensity. The colour did go a khaki green with the small amount of paprika, but that would have happened anyway once the vegetables were cooked. So I breathed easy on that end.
The other worry was the sauce, or possible lack of. Tomatillos are not as juicy as regular tomatoes, and I really didn’t want to start adding other vegetables to get a sauce, as I wanted to stick to the tomato, capsicum (peppers) and herb combination. So I compensated for the lack of liquid by chopping up a little of the ingredients; a couple of tomatillos and a small amount of the parsley and coriander (cilantro) went into the chopper with a small amount of water, which would be cooked off.
What I also do when making this Green Shakshuka is I add 2 tablepoons of Zhoug, the green Yemeni chilli sauce you see in the image above. I love Zhoug, and this was the perfect excuse to use it in yet another recipe. I use it in The Ultimate Burger recipe too. It adds both heat and flavour to our Green Shakshuka. Zhoug takes about 8 minutes to make with easy to get ingredients, and will last a couple of weeks in the fridge. So why don’t you get 2 recipes done while you’re at it? If you don’t fancy making Zhoug, just add a jalapeño to the ingredients to be chopped.
Don’t have Tomatillos for our Green Shakshuka?
Just get your hands on some green tomatoes. Here in the northern hemisphere, with it being autumn, there are probably quite a few of those going, especially if you grow your own, like I do.
What to Serve with this Green Shakshuka?
Shakshuka is a recipe that is very commonly eaten as breakfast and brunch throughout the Middle East. So bread, of whatever description, is the perfect accompaniment to this Green Shakshuka. Whether it’s flatbread or not. Even a flavoured bread like onion bread or olive bread would go extremely well.
If you do make some Zhoug, have a bowl of it on the side, as I like to, for added heat, if anyone wants it.
And, as you can see in the image here, cooking it in individual little cast iron pans makes for a very pretty presentation. A lot has been said about cooking shakshuka in a cast iron pan; if you don’t have one, make it in an ordinary one, it’ll be just as delicious.
What I also like to do is sprinkle some cheese on the shakshuka sometimes. What cheese? Anything your heart desires. The all too common feta, cheddar and mozzarella, or go crazy with some blue cheese.
So what do you think of the whole Green Shakshuka idea? Like it? Let me know with a comment.
Other recipes that use tomatillos here on LinsFood:
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Green Shakshuka with Tomatillo, a Mexican spin on a Middle Eastern favourite.
- 1 large onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 6 large tomatillos
- 1 1/2 capsicums (green peppers)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- pinch sugar
- 2 Tbsp Zhoug
- 4 eggs
- 1 Tbsp EV olive oil
To be chopped
- 2 large tomatillos
- 1/2 capsicum (green pepper)
- 10 stalks flat leaf parsley (curly will do too)
- 10 stalks coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 1 jalapeño (if not using zhoug)
- 125ml (1/2 cup) water
- freshly ground black pepper
- 5 stalks parsley, finely chopped
- 5 stalks coriander leaves, finely chopped
- cheese of your choice (optional)
- Chop your onions up fairly finely, about 1cm/half in square, roughly. Do the same with the tomatillos and capsicums (pepper).
- Finely chop the garlic.
- Roughly cut up the ingredients to be chopped and place them in the chopper with the water. Chop to a fairly fine, watery paste.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan on medium heat and fry the onions for 2 minutes, stirring them from time to time.
- Add the garlic, stir and cook for 30 seconds.
- Now add the chopped up tomatillos, the chopped up capsicums (pepper), the green watery paste, the cumin, the paprika, the salt, the sugar and Zhoug, if using. Stir and bring it all up to a gentle boil. Then lower the heat down and simmer everything for about 5 minutes, to reduce and to thicken. Taste your sauce. Add more salt if you think it needs it, add more sugar for a slightly sweeter sauce.
- Crack the eggs individually onto the shakshuka mixture. You can make indentations for the eggs if you like, but I don’t bother.
- Cook for another 3-5 minutes until your eggs are done to your liking. I like my eggs very soft and runny, so I leave it uncovered at this stage. If you like yours more cooked, cover it with a lid.
- Garnish with the chopped up herbs, some freshly ground black pepper, and cheese, if you like. Take the whole pan to the table and let everyone help themselves.
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern and Mexican Fusion
- Serving Size: 4