3 of a Kind: Shakshouka
3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.
Popular in Israel, shakshouka is a savory egg entree made with tomatoes, peppers and onions. Though it’s most commonly served as a main dish for breakfast, it’s also eaten for lunch and dinner. As it reaches our shores, chefs are putting their own twist on it.
Widely considered one of Chicago’s best breakfast spots, Beatrix focuses on dishes that fit the “healthy meets delicious” concept. Chef John Chiakulas’ take on shakshouka incorporates salty, creamy feta in order to offset the spiciness of the tomato base, adding kale for freshness, along with with warm naan or gluten-free bread for dipping.
At brunch only, Levant serves a tangy green take on shakshouka, featuring eggs baked in spicy tomatillo broth. Chef Scott Snyder adds heat with a housemade vinegar-based serrano sauce, with cumin, garlic and other classic spices. The vibrant colors come from leeks, scallions and spinach, with a topping of herbs and Israeli feta.
Chef Alon Shaya got a shakshouka lesson from a Yemenite lady named Irit in the central food market of Tel Aviv, learning to soak up sauce with a pancake-like bread called lahuch. At Shaya Restaurant, he makes Irit's recipe in the Yemenite style for lunch and dinner, but adds local Louisiana shrimp and Aleppo pepper for extra spice.