The first time I tried this was in a North African restaurant in the Maldives. It was so delicious I added it to my list to make again when I got home. When some beautiful scallops became available I had to make this but little did I guess how easy it would be!
This is also a dish that can be made ahead of time. Just make the tomato base and store it in the fridge or freezer. Then whenever you'd like to eat this, defrost, turn on the oven, place scallops on top and then bake for 10 minutes until the scallops are cooked!
The day that I made this, Mr NQN was at home waiting for me to get home like a hungry puppy. It was late and he hadn't eaten and although I had made this for both of our dinners I was in such a hurry that I didn't let him know this. It sat in the fridge, an enormous pan full of scallop and sauce with rice on the side. I had to give him credit, I would have sent a dozen messages about whether I could have eaten it if I were him. But he waited patiently, knowing that sometimes some things are not for eating because they need to be photographed and some things are.
And when I arrived back home at 9:30pm I assumed he had eaten because it was so late. He just gently enquired if there was anything to eat even though he was ravenous. I saw the 3 empty banana peels and realised that he had abstained from eating the shakshuka. And when I told him he could eat the shakshuka he gobbled up bowl after bowl of it before asking if he could finish it off. So while this would normally serve 3-4 people, this evening it served one very hungry husband!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you find serving sizes to be inaccurate? Do you tend to eat more or less than a suggested serving size? Have you ever tried scallop shakshuka?
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Degree of difficulty: very easy
- 4-5 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 red capsicum, finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 Japanese eggplant (thin, cut into small pieces)
- 800g/28.3ozs. tin diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 red chillies, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 250g/8.8ozs. scallops
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 190C/374F. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan with an oven proof handle and add onion and capsicum and saute on medium high heat for 5 or so minutes until soft and sweet smelling. Add the garlic, eggplant, tomatoes, cumin, paprika and chillies. Simmer with the lid off for about 10-15 minutes until reduced. Season with salt, sugar and pepper.
Step 2 - Top with scallops and drizzle with extra 2 tablespoons of oil. Bake for 10 minutes. Serve with freshly chopped parsley and half a lemon.