A cold weekend morning calls for homemade shakshuka over grits for dinner. This is the perfect comfort meal for the doldrums of winter.
Hidden on the top shelf toward the back of the freezer was the last bag of last year’s tomato harvest. If you grow tomatoes you know first hand that the crop is plentiful if attention is paid and the beds are watered. The yield is high, benefitting the gardener’s family immensely.
In the cooler months, my coveted early weekend mornings are spent quietly, either writing or catching up on magazine subscriptions, but in the summer months, I’m in my garden, doing my thing, with only the company of birds and the welcomed quack from the ducks. I water the tomatoes just at their roots, then with my harvest basket in hand, I start to pick the ripened gems right off the vine. It’s the days when I fill up my harvest basket twice that I know that I just may have a green thumb and feel so rewarded.
Back inside, the prep table is covered in tomatoes. Sun golds and plums, I use every last one, whether I make tomato bacon bourbon jam to serve over cheddar cheese and crackers; a tomato pie to serve at lunch along side a green salad, and even for that coveted tomato sandwich, served on white bread with a generous smear of mayo.
During harvest season, I’m bringing in pounds of tomatoes a day, though I never let the amount overwhelm me. Instead, I bring out a sheet pan, pour an even layer of tomatoes over top to cover, add a few fresh garlic cloves, and toss it all with a tablespoon or so of tomato paste and olive oil. In the oven to roast for about 20 minutes. Once cooled, I add to zip top bags and freeze flat. The previous growing season I froze 10 of these bags, and I’m using the last bag today. I’d like to make Shakshuka for supper, and serve it over cheese grits.
It’s bitter cold this morning, and what could be better than to enjoy homegrown tomatoes, harvested early in the morning before the days grew hot. Shakshuka is tomato based, almost stewed then the last couple minutes, creating a well in the tomatoes and adding an egg. I’m going to use duck eggs, as now the days are a little longer, and our girls are back in business laying their creamy delicious eggs. Along with the cheese grits layered underneath, this dish will bring divine comfort to this meal, and leave us excited for the growing season ahead.
Homemade Shakshuka Over Grits
So I searched. I looked online for that comforting recipe that I craved to find. One that would include my saved garden ingredients and one that I could include our marvelous home grown duck eggs in the process.
I found this one. I thumbed through many, and though I tried a few recipes, this one deemed my favorite. And, not only the one that I preferred, but Sean’s, Mac’s and Caroline’s preferred as well. And that, my friends, is the most challenging taste judging panel you’ll find. This recipe calls for chicken eggs, but ignore that. Do your best to find duck eggs and use them here.