Monday, 29 July 2013


This entry of Shakshouka for The Egg Award 2013 is by Rachel Leoning

You can find details on how to enter The Egg Award 2013 by clicking on this link

My first experience of eating a fresh egg was a memorable one. I was Ten years old and was visiting a nomadic Bedouin family in their hot black tent. The simple fried egg with its orange yolk in the dusty environment was the tastiest egg I had ever eaten!

It took me almost 30 years to recreate this, but on the west coast of Scotland, when my husband and I bought an outdoor centre and converted it into a sustainable off grid yoga retreat in 2010 Building a chicken coop was one of our first projects and we have been enjoying the daily fresh eggs ever since.

As recycling is a strong ethos of our centre as a whole, I also like the idea of recycling our food scraps. Just as we recycle the energy of the sun to produce hot water to fill our river baths and use the energy of the river to produce electricity. We turn (mainly organic) waste food into fresh eggs.  As my father in-law says: In nature there is no such thing as recycling, only cycling; there is no waste.

Our hens are free range and friendly each with its own personality and name. They love eating grass and insects (which helps keep the slugs at bay) and give us beautiful tasty eggs daily.

Shakshouka is a dish of Libyan origin; pouched eggs in a rich tomato sauce. Best served with hot pita breads for dipping into the soft egg yolk and fresh mint lemonade. The kids love it too!



4 medium onions- diced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp roast (or normal) paprika
2 tsp cumin powder
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp coriander seeds- crushed with pestle and mortar
3 cloves of garlic- finely chopped
2 red Bell peppers (optional)- cut long strips
5 large very ripe tomatoes- diced
5 organic free range eggs
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley- finely chopped for garnish


Fry the onions in a deep frying pan until golden brown. Add the tomato paste, paprika, cumin, coriander seeds and fry for one minute while stirring on a medium flame as the oil gets infused with a rich colour from these spices. 

Stir in the garlic and red pepper (if you are going to use peppers), fry briefly then add the chopped tomatoes (I don't bother peeling the tomatoes or separating the seeds) bring to the boil and simmer on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the tomatoes have cooked down use your wooden spoon to make 'wells' in the mixture and break an egg into it. Repeat this with the rest of the eggs spacing them out evenly in the pan. Don't linger as the first egg will over cook. 

Place a lid on the pan and cover for 3 or 4 minutes- I prefer the egg yolk to stay soft. 

Garnish with parsley and white pepper if you like and serve immediately. Enjoy!

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