Black Garlic Shakshuka

This shakshuka makes an excellent brunch or supper dish served with sausages, or crusty bread. Don’t be alarmed by the three types of garlic listed in the ingredients! Black garlic has a very mild, almost sweet flavour, infusing food with its liquorice-like complexity, and adding instant umami. If you like your shakshuka spicy, just add a chopped chilli pepper or two along with the red peppers, or a scattering of dried chilli flakes with the tomatoes.

Serves 4

• 50ml extra virgin olive oil
• 3 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
• 2 large onions, halved and finely sliced into half moons
• sea-salt and black pepper
• 2-3 red pointed peppers, halved lengthwise, de-seeded and sliced
• 2 tsp cumin seeds
• 1 tbsp smoked paprika
• 2 x 400g cans of tomatoes, such as tinned cherry tomatoes or Italian plum tomatoes
• 1 tbsp black garlic paste
• 4 large free-range eggs
• 6-8 black garlic cloves
• fresh chives, roughly chopped

1. Pour a generous splash of olive oil into a hot frying pan or skillet
2. Gently fry the sliced garlic to infuse the oil with flavour, without letting the garlic burn.
3. As soon as the garlic begins to colour, tip in the sliced onions and season well. Stir well to ensure the onion slices don’t stick.
4. Once the onion has begun to soften (after around 10 minutes cooking), add the red peppers and some more sea-salt.
5. Sprinkle in the cumin seed and smoked paprika and mix everything together to coat the vegetables in the spices.
6. Pour in two tins of tomatoes, breaking up any large tomatoes with a wooden spoon.
7. Squeeze in a tablespoon of black garlic paste and stir into the tomato mixture.
8. Leave the shakshuka to simmer on a low heat until the sauce has thickened sufficiently. Meanwhile, slice some black garlic cloves fairly thinly and turn your grill up to high.
9. After around 10-15 minutes (or longer if the shakshuka is too runny), take the pan off the heat and make 4 indentations in the vegetables with a spoon. Crack an egg into each, then put the whole pan under the grill for 4-5 minutes, until the egg whites have set. If you don’t have access to a grill (perhaps you are making this on a camping stove or barbecue!), put a lid on the pan and keep it over a low heat until the eggs are cooked.
10. Scatter with sliced black garlic and chives to serve.