Eggplant Stuffed with Eggs and Tomato Sauce (Photo/Faith Kramer)
Eggplant Stuffed with Eggs and Tomato Sauce (Photo/Faith Kramer)

This shakshouka-eggplant mash-up is eggstra special

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It’s the time of year when I start looking for special breakfast and brunch dishes for family and guests.

The idea for this delicious stuffed eggplant dish began from my love of baba ghanoush, baked or charred eggplant dip, and shakshouka, eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. Partially baking the eggplant before adding the eggs will ensure that it will cook through and be tender and silky.

This recipe serves four (split each half among two people) for breakfast or brunch, or two for lunch or dinner. And it multiples well. The sauce and baked eggplant can be made in advance; rewarm the sauce and reheat the eggplant before adding the eggs.

Eggplant Stuffed with Eggs and Tomato Sauce

Serves 2 to 4

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil plus additional for pan
  • 1 medium large eggplant (about 1 lb.), see note
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • ½ plus ¼ tsp. salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ plus ¼ tsp. ground pepper, plus more to taste
  • ¼ tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. paprika, divided
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne, optional
  • 14½ oz. can of diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • ½ cup water or vegetable stock, plus more as needed
  • ¼ tsp. sugar, or to taste, optional
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Oil paper. Slice eggplant lengthwise. Do not stem. Place halves cut side down on a prepared baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes (eggplant should be fork tender and softened).

Make sauce while eggplant is baking. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbs. oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until golden (5 to 8 minutes), add garlic and sauté until golden (1 to 2 minutes). Stir in ½ tsp. salt,  ½ tsp. black pepper,  oregano, cumin, ¼ tsp. paprika and cayenne. Sauté 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes with liquid, tomato paste and water or stock. Bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer 5 to 10 minutes, adjusting heat as needed, until it is very thick but the liquid has not evaporated. Taste and add salt, black pepper and/or sugar as needed. Set aside.

After the eggplant halves have baked for 30 minutes and are softened, remove from the oven. Lower heat to 350 degrees. Let eggplant cool slightly and use a spoon to scoop out a cavity about 1 inch from the stem and bottom end and ¼ inch from the sides. Scoop out eggplant down to about ½ inch of bottom skin, being careful not to pierce skin. Reserve scooped-out eggplant.

Place eggplant halves back on baking sheet, skin side down. Spread a few tablespoons of sauce in each cavity. Break 2 eggs, one at a time, onto a small plate. Slide eggs into an eggplant half (the egg whites may spill over a bit). Repeat with other eggs and eggplant half. Sprinkle eggs with remaining salt, black pepper and paprika.

Return eggplants to 350-degree oven. Bake about 15 minutes (timing will vary), until egg whites are set and the yolks are cooked as desired (test with a toothpick).

While eggs are baking, chop the reserved eggplant and add to remaining tomato sauce and sauté on medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until eggplant is incorporated and cooked through. Add water as needed. Add salt or black pepper if needed. Keep sauce warm.

Once eggs are cooked, remove baking sheet from oven. Spoon eggplant-tomato sauce on top, covering eggs. Use spatulas to remove to serving dish or individual plates. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with remaining sauce on the side.

Note: An eggplant that is wider at the bottom will work better than a narrower one.

Faith Kramer
Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer and the author of “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen.” Her website is Contact her at [email protected].