Apple-delicata squash shakshuka

Preparation 20 minutes Cook Time 25 minutes Serves Serves 2-4     adjust servings

Everything about this meal says breakfast, lunch or dinner, and that’s what makes it a winner in my books — I can eat it any time of the day. Shakshuka usually conjures images of eggs floating in a pool of tomatoes. But shakshuka, which means mixed up, is really open to interpretation and lots of play.

The flavour in this one is layered with sweet, sour and bitter bites, and a hot little kick from the crushed red pepper. Even better, it’s fantastic for prep because all you need to do is chop — no peeling required. That’s the beauty of using delicata squash with its thin, tender skin. If you can’t get your hands on delicata, butternut squash will work but you will need to peel it.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter or solid coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons sage, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1.5 pounds (roughly two small) delicata squash
  • 1 pinch + 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 a head radicchio, cored and sliced
  • 1 Mutsu apple or other sweet-tart apple, diced (See note)
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 4 to 6 eggs
  • 2 scallions, greens only, chopped to garnish
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions

    Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

      Melt butter/oil in a skillet over medium heat.

        Add the sage and crushed red pepper and cook for one minute, until aromatic.

          Add the squash and a pinch of salt. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash starts to soften and brown.

            Add the radicchio, apple, cider and vinegar. Give everything a good stir to combine, and cook until radicchio starts to wilt, about one minute.

              Stir in remaining salt and remove skillet from heat. With the back of your spoon, make four to six indentations in the squash mixture. Crack your eggs into the indentations and place skillet in the oven. Alternatively, you can crack your eggs into a ramekin first, and then slide into the mixture but who has time for another dirty dish?

                Bake for eight to 10 minutes for a runny, unctuous yolk; 12 minutes for a firm yellow.

                  Remove from oven and sprinkle with scallion greens. Divvy up and serve immediately with a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper to taste.

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                    Recipe Notes

                    Note: I found the most glorious Mutsus bursting with lots of sweet-tart flavour, which made them the perfect addition to this recipe. If you can’t get your hands on any, Northern Spy or Granny Smith would be fine stand-ins.

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