I am so tired of waiting, aren’t you? For the world become good and beautiful and kind? — Langston Hughes
What else is there to say? The news is exhausting right now. Some of it feels by design, some of it just by awful chance. But I have to come back to the things that sustain and energize me, as we all do: the people I love, the long walks that feel like I’m running my soul through a psychic wash cycle, and cooking nourishing food. Especially as we head into cooler seasons, spending time in the kitchen pulling together simple dishes or long-simmering soups feels good.
Shakshuka is the best comfort on a weekend, a delectably spicy broth of tomatoes, onion, and pepper into which eggs are nestled and gently cooked. It is the perfect meal to share with folks at a table, and it is so simple. I wanted to make the most of the end-of-season tomatoes and fresh shelling beans, so this version takes a little bit more time, but you can simplify easily by using canned versions of either.
Shakshuka with Fresh Cranberry Beans
You can go two ways here: make it much simpler and speedier by using canned, crushed tomatoes and canned beans, or make this on the weekend with the bounty of harvest season for a leisurely brunch. While most shakshuka recipes don’t call for beans, I did some nosing around the internet to see if it was a thing. It is. Some recipes call for dried fava beans. I wanted to use fresh shelling beans because this is their season and I always love adding a little more protein to a dish to keep me satiated longer. Learn more about fava beans, fresh beans like cranberry, and how to incorporate delicious pulses into your weekly meals at Half-Cup Habit.
1 cup fresh cranberry beans (or 1 15-ounce can of cannelini, great northern beans, or chickpeas)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 sweet red pepper, cored and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small chile pepper, such as a serrano, seeded and diced
1.5 teaspoons smoked paprike
1.5 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
6 medium tomatoes, diced
Flatleaf parsley, chopped
Crusty bread, for serving
First, cook the beans. You won’t need to soak fresh beans! In a large pot, add the beans and any optional aromatics: a sprig of thyme, some fresh parsley, a chopped carrot or celery rib, onion, garlic, dried chile. Cover with water by two inches and cook over a low simmer until the beans are soft and creamy, about 45 minutes.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sweet red pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft and beginning to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and chile pepper and sauté for another 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the paprika, salt, and cumin, and stir to combine.
Add the tomatoes and reduce heat to low. Stir occasionally and cook until the tomatoes have become softened and saucy, about 12-15 minutes. Add the beans half of the parsley and cilantro and stir to combine. Using the back of a wooden spoon, make a little well in the tomato mix, and crack an egg in. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Baste the egg whites withe spoonfuls of the braising liquid. Cover, and simmer over lowest heat until the whites have set, about 6-9 minutes. Remove from the heat. Top with the remaining parsley and cilantro.
This post is sponsored by USA Pulses and Pulse Canada. Pulses are the delicious, protein-packed, sustainable foods known as dry peas, chickpeas, lentils and beans. All thoughts and content are my own. Partnerships like these sustain me as a small business!