Food

Make this butter bean baked shakshuka to enjoy the breakfast fave without all the eggs

Bettina Campolucci Bordi just made this savoury brunch staple vegan-friendly but as satisfying as ever.

Bettina Campolucci Bordi just made this savoury brunch staple vegan-friendly but as satisfying as ever

(Credit: Nassima Rothacker)

While plant-based takes on pancakes, waffles, and other sweet brunch staples have become much more readily available in the last few years, finding vegan alternatives to savoury recipes that are just as satisfying as the original can be a trickier task. That’s why we love this baked shakshuka from Bettina Campolucci Bordi’s new cookbook Happy Food so much. Filled with protein-rich butter beans in a spicy, tomatoey base that begs to have fresh bread dunked in it, it’s perfect for busy weekends, or your next big gathering.

Baked Shakshuka with Butter Beans

By Bettina Campolucci Bordi​

Love this dish! So simple, satisfying and easy to make. The eggy version of shakshuka has taken over cafes worldwide. This version is still as substantial and has a spicy, smoky edge to it that I love.

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • ½ red (bell) pepper, chopped
  • ½ aubergine (eggplant), chopped
  • 1 x 400 g tin of tomatoes
  • 8 oz tinned butter beans (lima beans), drained
  • 4 sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pink Himalayan salt and black pepper, to taste

To serve:

  • Handful of chopped parsley
  • Super Bread (see page 148), or good-quality shop-bought bread
  • Drizzle of Pumpkin Seed Pesto (recipe below)
  • Dollops of plant yogurt, shop-bought or homemade (recipe below)
  • Lemon wedges
  • A few cherry tomatoes, to garnish (optional)
  • A few endive leaves, to garnish (optional)

Pumpkin Seed Pesto:

  • 1 cup olive oil, plus extra for sealing
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 30 g bunch of basil
  • 1 garlic cove, peeled
  • ½ tbsp each salt and black pepper

Cashew Yogurt:

  • 1 ¾ cups cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ probiotic capsule

Preparation

Shakshuka:

In a medium pan, heat the oil and fry the onion, pepper and aubergine with a tiny pinch of salt for 10–15 minutes. It is important you use a good amount of oil here to get it going and to make sure that the veggies soften properly.

Then add the tomatoes, beans, sundried tomatoes and all the spices and seasoning, give it a good stir and leave on a medium heat, covered, for 10 minutes.

Check on the mixture when the time is up, give it a stir and leave for another 10 minutes. By now the shakshuka should be done, the liquid should have mostly cooked off and turned sticky and there should be a smoky gorgeous mixture in your pan.

Serve immediately from the pan with a good sprinkle of chopped parsley, avocado slices, home-made bread for dipping and if you have some pumpkin seed pesto, get that in too, along with some plant yoghurt and lemon wedges to squeeze over.

Tip: This is such a comforting dish that can also be made in bigger quantities and reheated. It’s a weekend brunch kind of meal, but also super when you’re coming home from work and are in need of something substantial. I sometimes add some sliced avocado to mine, for extra creaminess, which I’m sure will come as no surprise!

Pumpkin Seed Pesto:

Simply add all the ingredients to a blender and blitz until you have a lovely pesto. You can choose to blend until smooth or to a chunkier consistency, if you prefer.

Makes one 250 g jar. 

Tip: The fantastic thing about this recipe is that it will keep in the fridge for at least 2 weeks. When you put it into a clean storage jar, make sure you cover the top of the mixture with a good layer of oil, as it serves as a natural preservative. One centimetre (½”) above the pesto is more than enough.

Cashew Yogurt:

Start by soaking the cashew nuts for 2 hours. All you need to do is add them into a bowl and cover with water. Drain the soaked nuts and tip them into a blender. Discard the soaking water, add the fresh water and the probiotic capsule into a blender and blitz until you get a smooth texture.

If you are doing this in a high-speed blender, make sure not to overheat the mixture as this will kill off the probiotics.

Once blended, transfer to a glass or plastic container. Do not use a metal one as the mixture won’t ferment. Leave the container outside the fridge for 24 hours with a tea towel or muslin cloth on top so that the mixture can breathe, and to keep out any insects.

After 24 hours the mixture will be slightly fizzy and bubbly, which means it has fermented, so give it a good mix. Place a proper top on the glass container and leave it in the fridge for later use.

The yogurt will last for up to 7 days in the fridge ready to use.

Makes one 500 g jar.

Tip: If you’re in a hurry, soften the cashews by pouring hot water on them and soak them for 15 minutes. Make sure you cool them off in cold water before blending. I would recommend soaking them for 2 hours, but I understand that we are all busy bees!

If you are allergic to nuts, the cashews can be substituted with sunflower seeds. Just follow the same measurements and method.


Excerpted from Happy Food by Bettina Campolucci Bordi. Recipes copyright © 2018. Excerpted by permission of Hardie Grant Books. All rights reserved.

Servings: Makes 2 servings

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