This basic shakshuka makes for a hearty, flavorful, crowd-pleasing breakfast (or brunch or lunch or dinner). Richly spiced with cumin and smoked paprika, with just a touch of heat, it’s swipe-your-finger-through-the-pan-stickings good exactly as is. But feel free to do your thing. Need more greens in your life? Wilt some torn lacinato kale or Swiss chard into the pan right before the eggs go in. Craving something cooling and creamy alongside? Plop a scoop of labne into your serving dish. Want some extra-savory action? Crisp some prosciutto in the pan with the onions and garlic. This shakshuka is your eggy tomato-y oyster!
Warm the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until wilted and starting to color. Add the jalapeño and cumin seeds, give a good stir, and let sizzle for a minute. Add the ground cumin, chile flakes and pimentón and let cook for another minute, stirring every so often. Pour in the tomatoes and stir well; season with more salt and let the pan bubble away, stirring now and then, for 2-3 minutes.
Crack your eggs directly into the pan, one in each quarter of the pan, and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cover the pan and go pluck some cilantro leaves. Keep an eye on your eggs; you want to pull the pan off the heat as soon as the whites are solidly milky, but not 100% set. (Just-cooked whites and still-runny yolks are what we’re hoping for here…which should take 5-6 minutes.)
When the eggs are done, kill the heat, garnish each egg with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of pimentón, and garnish the pan with a healthy scattering of cilantro leaves. Serve with a hunk of garlic toast.
*Include the seeds, unless the chile is blazing hot