Turning leftovers & eggs into a sort of shakshuka

by sophie on February 13, 2013 · 16 comments

Post image for Turning leftovers & eggs into a sort of shakshuka

Eating well all week undeniably takes time and effort. Much as magazines and certain celebrity chefs would like to tell us that it’s possible to put a healthy, balanced and brilliantly tasty  meal on the table in less than 10 minutes, most of us just aren’t that speedy in the kitchen (and nor should we be. As Kathryn has so eloquently put it, eating well is a choice of personal priority, and if you want to eat well it often means making a bit more time to cook and shop, and spending a bit less time on something else).

Having said that, the more you cook the more patterns and opportunities you see. That old adage of “work smarter, not harder” isn’t just for, well, work.  That mirepoix of carrots, celery and onion for tonight’s stew, well that’s going to be showing up again later in the week for a soup so why not chop double the quantity now? That brown rice that take’s a while to cook – throw in an extra handful and you’re much closer to an easy lunch for work, especially if you doubled that lemony dressing too.

If you watch for them, the kitchen is bristling with these little opportunities to double up.

At the moment one of these steps is for me is sauteing more vegetables that I need to use for the dish that I’m making.  I use this cycle of cook – eat – repeat in our house for all kinds of wintery dish.  Chopping a handful or two extra veg is easy enough and the cooking time isn’t really altered but by the time you’ve finished one meal you have a head-start in your fridge for later in the week.

A bit extra of vegetables that soften down well (such as courgettes and leeks) are perfect to save for scrambled eggs such as these courgette scrambled eggs .  Or more often that not I end up making a sort of shakshuka or pisto style dish with the eggs cooked in a tomato-based sauce.

These pictures are more of a template than a recipe.  Most vegetables that saute well can sit happily in a tomato sauce (leeks, onions, shallots, mushrooms, french beans, fennel, celery, cauliflower, asparagus, spring onion, aubergine, courgette, peppers).

A sort of shakshuka made with leftover veg

1. Pour a little olive oil into a deep-sided pan and turn the heat up to medium

2. Add your leftover cooked veg (I had a fennel and onion mix) and heat until just warmed through

making shakshuka

3. Add a can of chopped tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.  You might also add some additional seasoning at this point – harissa, chilli flakes, black pepper, ground cumin and coriander are all tasty and easy

making shakshuka part 3

4. Taste your tomato sauce and add more seasoning if you like

5. Crack your eggs into small bowls.  I use one or two per person depending how hungry we are and what else we might be having alongside. Make a little dent for each egg in your tomato sauce and gently pour in the eggs.  Reduce the heat to a minimal simmer, cover the pan with a lid and leave the eggs to cook. Without a lid the tops of your eggs just won’t cook but that’s OK – just finish your eggs under the grill.

making shakshuka part 5

6. Cook until the white of your eggs are just set, so usually between 10 and 15 minutes

making shakshuka part 6

Serve straight away while the yolks are still gloriously runny.  Nice additions include a slice of granary toast to dip in the yolk, a sprinkle of parsley for freshness, a handful of dark green leafy salad or a sprinkling of feta cheese.


Maria Tadic February 13, 2013 at 17:03

This look soooo good! I love eggs cooked like this – if only my husband felt the same way! Guess I’ll just have to make a serving for one!

sophie February 15, 2013 at 15:27

Hi Maria – this is super easy to make for one person (in fact I often do!)

Arwen from Hoglet K February 13, 2013 at 20:47

That looks great, and wonderfully simple. I like your suggestions for changing the flavour with different spices or vegies.

sophie February 15, 2013 at 15:30

Thank you Arwen. To be honest I haven’t found many spices or flavourings that don’t go with eggs and tomato, and I don’t tend to worry if there are some spices already in with the vegetables. I think you can see where a few chilli flakes and fennel seeds have already snuck into the picture with the pre-cooked veg.

@photorecipe February 14, 2013 at 12:34

Hi, what a delicious recipe! Thanks for sharing.



sophie February 15, 2013 at 15:28

thanks photorecipe – much appreciated

kathryn elliott February 14, 2013 at 21:58

LOVE this Sophie. Of all the short cuts and time saving things I do in cooking I have *never* thought to do a double vegetable saute. But the leftovers would be delicious and cut a good 10 – 15 minutes off your cooking time the next day, for little extra effort. I shall add this into my cooking routine.

Plus of course, eggs cooked like this are the bomb. Lovely, lovely meal.

sophie February 15, 2013 at 15:32

That’s interesting Kathryn – I’d have thought you would be well ahead of me on this one :-)

It is a real time saver and great for the kinds of scrambled egg recipes I know you like to make as well these tomatoey eggs. Looking forward to hearing how you get on!

shauna February 14, 2013 at 22:41

So smart and so elegant! Nice one Sophie!

sophie February 15, 2013 at 15:36

Thanks Shauna – I thought I’d better put some effort in after such a long silence :-)

I never think of my cooking as elegant but you’re right, this is an elegant solution in its own way. It’s definitely an easy win which always brings a smile to my face.

Kirsty February 19, 2013 at 17:13

Mmmm….that looks so yummy Sophie! :-) And I am the same….even though I cook more rice/pasta/potatoes etc than I need at the time so I have leftovers for other meals, I’ve never thought about doing it with sauted veggies!! I’ll def be using that great little time-saving trick this week!

I have to say that I love eggs so this dish will no doubt become a firm favourite. I would even have it for brekkie….this morning I rustled up scrambled eggs with a little bit of fresh red chilli, a sliced up roasted pepper (from a jar!), a few sliced cherry tomatoes, some sweetcorn kernels and a handful of spinach thrown in at the end. It was gorgeous with a slice of granary bread, a sprinkling of hot sauce and a quarter of an avocado sliced up on the side! YUM! Eggs are so versatile!

Caroline Taylor March 15, 2013 at 13:35

This looks lovely. Meals made of leftovers are always the best.

Tina April 27, 2013 at 11:14

This is a great tip and recipe. Somehow it gave me a new idea on how to deal with leftovers. Most of the time we cannot avoid having leftovers, sometimes most of our leftovers may end to trash or as a pet food.

Trisha May 16, 2013 at 11:33

Hmm I often want to cook more with beans, but I get a bit stressed by the non- canned ones. But after seeing how delicious this looks, i shall have to give it a go.

Thank you for sharing.


Pille @ Nami-Nami October 28, 2013 at 08:07

I fell in love with shakshouka in Israel last summer, and make it quite frequently. I actually prefer it minimalist – just some onion, garlic and tomatoes (and the eggs, of course), but fennel with its aniseedy notes could be quite fun!

Megan December 12, 2014 at 14:13

Great article, thanks for sharing.
Very simple and healthy recipe!

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