Behind the Recipes

Turn Heaps of Greens and Herbs Into This Luxurious Shakshuka

The ultimate brunch dish poaches eggs in a supple, garlicky blend of spinach and Swiss chard.
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Published Dec. 4, 2023.

A few years back, I developed a recipe for shakshuka—a one‑skillet meal of eggs gently poached in a robust tomato–red pepper sauce. As you scoop up savory mouthfuls with swaths of bread, the runny yolks and ruddy sauce merge in a delicious demonstration of how the North African dish got its name: It means “mixed up.” Recently, I explored green shakshuka, a veggie-filled twist on the traditional kind.

Green shakshuka trades the red sauce for hearty greens and herbs, giving the eggs a fresher, lighter bed in which to nest. It’s a terrific use for whatever leafy vegetables you have on hand (since they will be cooked, they needn’t be the perkiest), but I like the interplay of earthy Swiss chard and mineral-y (no-prep) baby spinach, along with a big bunch of fresh parsley.

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Speedy Swiss Chard Prep

Cooks often prep chard one leaf at a time by making vertical cuts to separate the hardy stems from the quick-cooking leaves. Since the greens for our shakshuka are pureed, such precision is unnecessary: Just lop off the stems. The thin midrib that remains within the leaves will fully soften as they simmer. 

Green shakshuka trades the red sauce for hearty greens and herbs, giving the eggs a fresher, lighter bed in which to nest. It’s a terrific use for whatever leafy vegetables you have on hand (since they will be cooked, they needn’t be the perkiest), but I like the interplay of earthy Swiss chard and mineral-y (no-prep) baby spinach, along with a big bunch of fresh parsley.

To rectify things, I blended a portion of the cooked greens with a little water and some of the bread I had on hand for serving, creating a fluid, homogenous sauce. For brightness, I also sprinkled in sumac, the citrusy, burgundy-red spice that’s essential in many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. As soon as the eggs went into the skillet, I spooned some sauce over the edges of the whites so that they were submerged in a mossy blanket. This sauce transferred heat faster than the air in the covered skillet had, so by the time the yolks were oozy and sunny yellow, the whites were just set and tender. 

To wake up the flavors and provide contrast to the silky textures, I finished with several garnishes, starting with more sumac and parsley. I also crumbled goat cheese over the top for creamy, salty tang (feta works well too) and passed hot sauce at the table for zesty heat. I even had time to make a batch of crispy, roasty garlic chips. This vibrant, verdant spin had me falling for shakshuka all over again.

Recipe

Green Shakshuka

Eggs poached in a supple, garlicky blend of spinach and Swiss chard are at once nutritious and luxurious.
Get the Recipe
Recipe

Green Shakshuka for Two

Eggs poached in a supple, garlicky blend of spinach and Swiss chard are at once nutritious and luxurious.
Get the Recipe

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