A plate of shakusha with flatbread and yogurt on a tabletop

Shakshuka with strained yogurt ‘labneh’ and seedy za’tar

Shakshuka is a rich tomato, egg and red onion stew, that’s lightly spiced and finished with loads of herbs. You can serve it with yogurt, but here I’ve shown how to make a really quick labneh, which is a Middle Eastern fresh cheese, which Is creamier and richer. I’ve modernized it y Sprinkling on labneh and toasted seeds, which in turn makes it extra tasty with loafs of good omega oils. It’s a slow cook so perfect for the weekend


Serves 2

3 tbsp olive oil
1 Medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 red chilli thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled, finely sliced
8 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped, (or 800g whole, peeled, great quality tinned tomatoes).
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
4 eggs
Good handful of flat leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped.
A few mint leaves, shredded

For the yogurt
500ml Skyr plain yogurt
3 tablespoons toasted mixed seeds
½ teaspoon za’tar
Glug of olive oil
Toasted bread to serve

Preparation time 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 mins


Heat the oven to 220C. Heat A frying pan over a medium to high heat, add the oil and red onion, season with some salt, pepper, cumin and paprika. Sweat the onions, mixing frequently, until the soften and become translucent.

Add the sliced garlic and the chilli, mix well and cook for a minute or two more, until you can smell the aroma from the garlic.

Add the tomatoes to the pan, season with the rest of the spices. Mix well and bring to a strong simmer. Lower the heat and cook, stirring frequently for about 45 minutes, until the tomatoes become sweet and all the flavours combine together.

Taste and season further if necessary. Turn the heat off. (At this point either chill and store in the fridge, or use immediately). In the meantime make the quick ‘labneh’ place a large layer of muslin over a sieve in a bowl and pour in the yogurt. Wrap the yogurt in the muslin and tie the end tightly so to give it a squeeze. Liquid will pour out . You can hang it overnight BUT for speed you can squeeze it gently for 10 minutes until a 1/3 of the liquid has been strained out Scoop the labneh onto a plate and serve drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, then sprinkle with za’tar and the toasted seeds.

To finish and serve the Shakshuka; simply make little “holes” in the top of the tomato cooking liquid and break the egg into each hole. Season each egg with salt and pepper. Bake the eggs in the oven for about 8 minutes or until cooked through.

Garnish the Shakshuka with the chopped parsley and mint and serve immediately alongside the labneh with seeds and za’tar.

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