One of my favorite dishes this time of year is a fresh sauce filled with all of the garden’s golden ingredients. Summer sauce always tastes a little sweeter, with herbs that cut through the acidity with a touch more confidence, and veggies that add texture you just can’t find in supermarket sauces. It’s comfort meets clean eating at its best.
Summer sauce needn’t be a recipe reserved solely for pasta, and in fact, I find sometimes I prefer it elsewhere. Like on sautéed and buttered zucchini noodles or a crusty slice of sourdough scattered with feta and basil.
Yet, used to simmer fresh-from-the-farm eggs undoubtedly ranks at the top of my preferential usage list. This is a breakfast – and sometimes lunch and dinner – I will reach for whenever the ingredients present themselves.
Luckily, it’s August, so that means this is showing up in my skillet quite often.
This particular version is similar to a shakshouka, but with the inclusion of some extra garden power from grated zucchini. That being said, it’s not quite as delicate and sweet as traditional shakshouka, but it’s certainly as fresh and possibly slightly more flavorful. Feel free to vary it given the veggies you might have on hand. I’ve also kept this version on the chunky side, but you could certainly give it a pulse in the blender or food processor to go saucier. If you have super fresh/local ingredients though, I might advise against this.
Be sure to keep an eye on the eggs once you crack them in. They can go from an over-easy yolk to a solid state in a flash as they near that final finishing point.
When they do get to that resting state you love, remove your eggs and sauce from the heat and plate it on up. I like to add blue corn tortilla chips for a nice texture and color contrast, sometimes crunching the chips straight on top of my eggs. You could also pair this with your favorite bread to sop up all the juices.
Cheers to doing summer breakfast right.
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/2 bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1/2 japleno, optional
- 1 zucchini, grated
- 1 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- Scant 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. salt, plus freshly ground to finish
- 4 med.-lg. tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp. basil, divided (Set aside 1 Tbsp. to garnish)
- 4-5 eggs
- Hot sauce, optional
- Blue corn chips or crusty bread
- In a large cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and pepper and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, jalapeno (if using), zucchini, spices and salt and cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until onions are nearly tender. Add tomatoes & 2 Tbsp. chopped basil. Bring to a simmer, and cover. Cook 15 minutes.
- Make a small divots in one corner of the pan. Crack an egg into the divot. Repeat with the three remaining eggs. Cover the pan again, and cook over a low simmer for 5 minutes, or until eggs reach desired consistency.
- Remove from heat. Serve alongside tortilla chips/bread, and finish with a sprinkle of salt on top and fresh basil.