The Best Canned Tomatoes To Use For Shakshuka

Shakshuka with eggs and bread
Shakshuka with eggs and bread - Lisovskaya/Getty Images

An egg-based dish with origins in North Africa, shakshuka is as easy to prepare as it is delicious. While recipes can vary quite a bit, basic ingredients include eggs, tomatoes, and an assortment of spices. The resulting dish is bursting with flavor and full of satisfying textures, particularly if you choose your tomatoes carefully. While many people claim that fresh is best when it comes to vegetables, canned tomatoes are not just perfectly acceptable in many recipes but are sometimes preferred, including in this hearty and wholesome dish.

As for the best canned tomatoes to use, whole-peeled varieties are the way to go. That's because whole peeled tomatoes will make for a better sauce than their diced counterparts, and the sauce is a big reason why shakshuka is so beloved all around the world. Diced tomatoes typically contain a higher concentration of an additive that helps keep foods firm, which can prevent you from achieving the rustic texture shakshuka is famous for. Opting for canned whole tomatoes also makes the cooking process more convenient, as fresh tomatoes take a lot longer to cook in general. Additionally, you can rest assured of the quality of whole canned tomatoes, whereas the quality of fresh tomatoes might not be guaranteed depending on the season.

Read more: 14 Liquids To Add To Scrambled Eggs (And What They Do)

Building Your Canned Tomato Shakshuka

Bowl of harissa with chiles
Bowl of harissa with chiles - Picturepartners/Getty Images

Shakshuka is a versatile dish that pairs beautifully with lots of vegetables and spices, especially when it's made with the right kind of canned tomatoes, and there are a number of ways you can enhance those whole-peeled beauties as they cook. Some variations call for red bell peppers, while others may include onions. Some pros forgo the bell peppers and choose chiles instead for a spicier flavor profile. Similarly, certain home cooks like to use tomato paste to make the sauce, while others only feature tomatoes in their shakshuka recipes.

You also have a lot of options when it comes to spices. If you're aiming for a more traditional meal, consider seasoning the dish with harissa, a North African chile paste. Harissa usually features ingredients like chile peppers, garlic, and olive oil. As for seasonings, harissa can include tasty additions like mint and cumin. Of course, you can also whip up a seasoning blend of your very own using a wide range of ingredients, including paprika, cayenne, turmeric, and even cilantro. Your spice blend is ultimately up to you and your taste preferences. Likewise, pairings for shakshuka can also vary quite a bit.

What To Serve With Your Hearty, Eggy Tomato Dish

Tahini sauce with bread
Tahini sauce with bread - Nataly Hanin/Getty Images

Pita and naan are excellent when served alongside shakshuka. However, they're not your only options. Some people choose to serve the dish with rice or potatoes, which is ideal if you're making shakshuka for brunch or dinner. Anything starchy enough to soak up all that delicious sauce is bound to work well. If you want a lighter meal, consider pairing the recipe with a refreshing side salad.

Because some versions of shakshuka can be a bit spicy, you may want to choose a cooling dish to serve alongside it. In this case, yogurt-based sauces and dips cool down the palate a bit while also introducing a wonderful flavor. There are many types of tahini you can pair with your shakshuka, including those that feature toasted sesame seeds, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. You can also add a bit of chopped mint to yogurt for a sauce that's brimming with a wonderful combination of rich textures and bright flavors. With so many delicious ways to enjoy shakshuka made from whole-peeled canned tomatoes, the dish is bound to become a coveted part of your recipe arsenal.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.