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green shakshukaThis post should have been subtitled, “How To Deal with a Glut of Greens.”

The long and short of it is that I have planters and planters full of green things. Big green things. Sword-like black kale, great frothy tufts of curly kale (redbore and Pentland), umbrella-like rainbow and Swiss chards, two types of sorrel (Buckler leaf and some mysterious big-leafed variety) as well as wine boxes of over-spilling herbs. {The less said about the black pak choi, the better.}. I have other bits and bobs growing in the garden, but it is pretty much a case of macheteing back the rampant greens to get to these smaller, less bold edibles.

I am not bragging here. I have done nothing other than sow some seeds and plant them out in bought compost. I’ve not fed, clothed or otherwise shaped their upbringing. Save for early morning slug patrol when all were in their vulnerable infancy, I have left them to it  Does that make me a bad plant mother? 

But still they have thrived. And how. As with many good things that come from a kitchen, abundance + frugality(common sense) = creativity. Although in this case, the idea of a green shakshuka is not mine, merely one that I have borrowed and bent to my will.

My ‘creativity’ is to add a little something unexpected in amongst the slippery, herb-laced greens. Quinoa. Not only do the little quinoa ‘nests’ keep the eggs from slipping under the greens, they add much to the texture, satiety and, of course, nutrition. Taste too. The nubbly nutty pseudo-grains fit right in with this one-pot, aromatic, garden mulch of a meal. Although bread is still a must in my book. Just not as much as with a traditional shakshuka. I think it is against the law not to dip bread into a red and saucy shakshuka. If not actually a law, then an ingrained and delicious tradition.

I have blogged on shakshuka before: a proper, tomatoey one with loads of aromatics and store cupboard goodies to elevate this Middle Eastern staple beyond its natural breakfast table habitat. dsc_0141Like the traditional one, this gardener’s green shakshuka can be eaten at any time. The only thing different to my other recipe insofar as its use is that I wouldn’t recommend pre-making the base. This isn’t after all a sauce. It guess it is more akin to a stir-fry, but slower and popped in the oven with eggs and quinoa.

My tomato plants are are still holding onto their little star-like yellow flowers, so I doubt very much that I will get a crop to splurge on shakshuka. If I have enough red fruits to nibble reverentially – savouring each savoury-sweet sun-ripened bite – I will be lucky. But today’s rain will give them a much-needed  watering, and hasten the lifecycle from promising flower to nascent fruit. I may even remember to feed them. So, for the time being, I am very happy to extend my kale repertoire with this gardener’s green shakshuka. And if the tomatoes ever amount to anything more than green bullets I will throw them in too.

Do you have a glut in the garden? What is your way of dealing with it?

green shakshuka

Gardener’s Green Shakshuka

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy-moderate
  • Print

The idea of a green shakshuka is not mine – there are versions all over the internet, including this lovely one from thekitchn – but this is my version, based on what I have in the garden. This shakshuka recipe is ripe for adapting to what you grow or find fresh and best-quality in the market or store. My big deviation from what you might see elsewhere is to contain the eggs in a little nest of cooked quinoa. This not only keeps the eggs from escaping into the slippery herby greens, but also increases the satiety and nutrition. But we still had it with bread!

Oh, don’t let the list of ingredients daunt you. Read through it first, then just use what you have and what you fancy. It is more of a guide than a recipe. K x

250-300g mixed greens, such as chard, kale, spinach, mizuna, beet greens – washed

2 tbsp olive oil

1 leek, cleaned and finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced or grated

1/2 tbsp fennel seeds, lightly cracked

1/2  tsp dried oregano

2 fresh green chillies, or equivalent jarred (such as jalapeno), sliced – optional

1-2 young courgette/zucchini (yellow or green), sliced

2 tbsp chopped fresh mint, divided use

3 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, divided use

3 tbsp chopped fresh chives, divided use

1/4 cup of white wine (optional)

up to 1/2 cup water or very light vegetable stock (I used water) – depends on how much the vegetables release

8 tbsp cooked quinoa or other grains/pseudo-grains (I used a Merchant Gourmet pack with chickpeas, quinoa and spelt)

4 free range or free range-organic eggs

salt and pepper to taste

Goat’s cheese or feta cheese, optional to garnish and flavour

Hot sauce, if liked (I didn’t, but I usually would)

Extra herbs (with their flowers if you have them), to garnish


Heat the oven to 180C/350F.

1. First of all, de-rib the kale as necessary. My homegrown black kale is quite tender so I just do the minimum of trimming, but older supermarket kale might need a bit more. Slice all of the greens into ribbons and set aside in a bowl/colander. If you are using chard, chuck in the stems. They are delicious and easy to eat.

rainbow chard stems

rainbow chard stems – use me!

2. Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven over a low-medium flame (large enough to accommodate four eggs as shown in the images). When heated add the leek, garlic, fennel seeds, dried oregano and sliced chillies, sautéing for a few minutes. Add the sliced greens, the courgette and half of the chopped herbs, mixing well. Let this cook down for a few minutes until all is soft, stirring occasionally.

3. When the vegetables have reduced in volume turn up the heat and add the wine. Let this bubble up then reduce the heat to simmer. If the vegetables appear at all dry add water or stock – just enough to keep the vegetables loose, but not at all stewy. Stir in the remaining chopped shakshuka

4. Push four shallow wells in the vegetables and add the cooked quinoa equally to these indentations. Crack the eggs, and as you crack them add one to each quinoa nest. Don’t worry if a little of the white escapes. Season the shakshuka with a little salt and pepper, and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 6-8 minutes, depending on how wobbly you like your shakshukamaking green shakshuka with quinoa


5. Garnish with crumbled goat’s cheese and extra herbs. Serve immediately. Add good chewy wholegrain bread if you like, but you should find it filling enough with the quinoa and of course the eggs.

Note: you may keep this on the stovetop/hob rather than popping it in the oven. Cover the pan and cook on a low flame for 10-15 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs.

green shakshuka

PS If you are facing a glut of courgettes/zucchini you could do worse than trying my “Creamy” Zucchini, Walnut and Lemon Thyme Soup. It is one of my most popular recipes and a perfect vegan soup for summer!

Yellow squash, walnut and lemon thyme soup

Yellow squash, walnut and lemon thyme soup

69 thoughts on “Gardener’s Green Shakshuka

  1. Darya says:

    Beautiful. I love everything about this post, the greens, the grains, the herbs, the spices, and most of all, the eggs. Such a lovely alternative to classic shakshuka.

    1. Thanks a lot, Darya. My husband was a bit disappointed that I hadn’t made more! That’s always a good sign 😉

  2. I would love to dive into that right now and I adore your lovely photos, especially the colourful chard stems. Our abundant crop is fennel – its a fennel jungle here but we eat the fronds, collect the pollen, chew the seeds and use it to inspire my textile designs – now that’s value from a plant!

    1. I have seen your fennel and it is extraordinarily pretty. If were artistic like you, it would inspire me too. 🙂

  3. I love making shakshuka. It is a great way to use up leftovers and cheap to make too.

    1. This one is great for leftover quinoa and getting greens in the diet for breakfast. But I do love the original tomato based one too. Very much.Thanks for stopping by, Dannii. 🙂

  4. What a problem to have too many greens! 😉 I LOVE this spin on shakshuka with the quinoa, leek, and mixed greens addition. Perfect!

    1. Yay! Thanks so much, Katie. It is well-tasty and nicely filling for dinner. 🙂

    2. Thank you Katie. Are you back home now and cooking in your own kitchen?

      1. Yes, I am finally back home and readjusting. 😉 Thanks for checking! Especially glad to be back to enjoy the remaining Swiss summer. It’s short but lovely, aside from the occasional rainy, foggy days.

      2. It’s been super sunny and quite hot for us in Scotland -until today. Still warm, but low skies and muggy. My soft top car (a Figaro) has been in for repairs since May, so I’have missed a lot of ‘topless’ driving! Enjoy your Swiss summer back home.

  5. Choclette says:

    Oh I do like your green shakshuka Kelly. I’m a big fan of this dish from when I came across it in Egypt in my youth. But I reckon yours would make an interesting change and your quinoa nest idea is a good one. Gluts of greens don’t tend to be a problem, but courgettes usually are.

    1. Chuck in your courgettes and use whatever greens look good at the shops. Most stores seem to carry kale now. Changed days! I’m glad you like the quinoa idea. I was thinking it might seem a bit weird but it really works. Thanks for commenting

  6. What a stunning glut. Yum yum yum. Note to self never read your posts when hungry 😉

  7. Yum yum yum yum yum ☺️☺️☺️ oh how I’m missing being able to cook….😕

    1. But you’ll have a super spanking new kitchen very soon. Crossed fingers it is sooner rather than later x

      1. Everything crossed!!!! xx

  8. I have never heard of shakshuka before! Thanks for enlightening me. And can I say, your photographs are stunning! The dish looks very appetizing.

    1. Thanks Stuart! This is not the ‘normal’ kind by any stretch of the imagination but it is a nice change from the tomatoey one, as nice as that one is. Glad to introduce you to shakshuka 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by,

  9. Urvashi Roe says:

    This is my all time favourite dish and I am going to make it on my allotment when I get my glut!!

    1. Awesome! Green or traditional red?

      1. Urvashi Roe says:

        Green for sure. So much healthier looking

  10. Deena Kakaya says:

    When I saw your pics my friend, I had a feeling you were going to do something modestly spectacular and here we are, quinoa nests and all! And what a fine use of that pretty sorrel…I could make a joke about all these magnificent all-day-breakfast type glorious recipes you conjure up but you’ve made me hungry. Again xx

    1. Aw, shucks Deena 🙂 Thank you 🙂 Yeah, got a thing about breakfast. Something definitely breakfast coming soon. Not an all day one. At least i don’t think so!

  11. I totally understand your need to use up the greens. Last year I had a massive bag of chard to use up every week it seemed. I got a little tired of this after a while, it’s the de-stalking and chopping in vast quantities that did it. This makes perfect use of all of your wonderful greens and I love your idea of quinoa nests for the eggs. Added texture and flavour, so tasty!

    1. Well, right now it is just me and husband so our towers of greens are a bit daunting! But I am playing with the 5:2 diet and it is proving a godsend as they are filling and almost calorie free! I haven’t tried blanching and freezing but may try that too. DO you ever freeze your greens?

  12. Pretty – to me more attractive than traditional shakshuka. Love it . We have not grown too many greens but I am planning on sowing some Kale to grow and harvest over the cooler months.

    1. I love kale in my garden. So pretty and so incredibly versatile. You will LOVE it!

  13. This is a great idea! A roasted butternut squash would be nice, too, with the goat cheese and fennel. These are lovely flavors, and the addition of the quinoa is so nutritious.

    1. Mmm, that sounds a nice late summer/autumn version. I actually had some gorgeous fennel ready to put in but I thought people would balk at yet another ingredient!! Plus it was going in some soup! 😉 but it would be super in this, espesh as I already have fennel seeds.

      1. No way! It would be great! I made a quinoa gratin last night that had about seven or eight garden vegetables, all roasted. They worked super well together. I love an array of colors and textures in food.

        Fennel is so sweet and licorice-like, and almost “fry-like” when roasted. YUM. There is also something to be said for echoing flavors. 🙂

        Oddly enough, we grown winter squashes in the summers in New Mexico… it’s a strange state for gardening.

  14. This looks awesome! I will have to try. After reading the ingredients list I was a little put off, there seemed to be so many, but when I saw your step by step photos I realised it would pretty simple to knock up. Hurrah! : )

    1. I’m so glad you got beyond the list! It really is just chopping and stirring. So easy but yes, the post is a bit off-putting. thank you for persevering 🙂

  15. This looks so fab, Kellie. I love the idea of adding quinoa to the dish to make it more substantial. I don’t have a glut of greens (though my tiny balcony garden is producing like a champ) but in one week (!) I’ll raiding my mother’s ocean-front garden in the pacific northwest. This is the kind of dish I can make for a lazy family brunch, of which there will be many. It looks glorious, and I can’t wait!

    1. I’d love to think that this was being made for the your family in Canada. That would be so amazing! Enjoy your rest. You deserve it!

  16. Sophie33 says:

    Just a wonderful tasty recipe that I love!
    I made it just now & it is so delicious with home grown multicolored Swiss Chard from my garden,…ooh yes! 🙂 MMM!

    1. Oh wow, Sophie! You are quick off the mark!Did you freestyle with it? (I hope so)Love your feedback so much :-))

      1. Sophie33 says:


  17. Really beautiful photos and delicious looking food, lovely!

  18. So beautiful, healthy and nourishing meal! Additionally, full of magnesium, potassium and iron!

  19. Lisa says:

    Lovely and a perfect use of garden ingredients.

  20. I don’t have a glut yet….but I’m soon to be awash with cucumbers and courgettes, tomatoes and raspberries 🙂

  21. katarinaanne says:

    Yum! Definitely going to give this a try soon!

  22. rachwilber says:

    This is beautiful!

  23. boeddhamum says:

    What a great idea, using greens for this lovely looking shakshuka; I have loads of chard and courgette now coming from my veg garden!
    Thanks for the inspiration,
    grtz, Linda

  24. narf77 says:

    Where “Forsake” is to “Forsook” is an eggless and cheeseless Shakshuka a Shaksook? I love the look of that green conglomeration under those sparkling orbs. I have some quinoa festering away somewhere and Brunhilda is on 24/7 duty at the moment and Stevie-boy FINALLY found where those industrious hens are squirreling away their eggs so this wonderful meal might just be on the cards for both of us, only Stevie-boy can have the Shakshuka and I will be inhaling the Shaksook 🙂

    1. You are too funny, Fran! Very literate 🙂

      1. narf77 says:


  25. platedujour says:

    It looks sooo delicious!! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  26. Sally says:

    Does that make you a bad plant mother? Just look at those greens…. I should say not. Usually prefer the tomato version of shakshouka but I’d happily dip some crusty bread in your green one.

  27. Such a fabulous dish Kellie that I have been eyeballing for quite awhile now, but am only finally getting the time to comment on. Love the addtion of spicy peppers, and your greens are simply fabulous! Sadly, my garden is poorly neglected, although I am without hubby and kids for a few days, so I may find some time to pitter patter around in the garden. You have inspired me 🙂

    1. Thanks for coming back and commenting, EA. You know, when my family are away I tend to do a bit of gardening too. And reading. And not cooking 😉

  28. Wren says:

    Gorgeous. So creative and a great way to use up different greens. I didn’t know you used to be from FL until I read your bio — I’m writing from FL over here and I bet you can imagine how the heat has treated most of our greens in July — that is to say, we have no more greens (for now)! Lovely and inspiring post.

  29. recipesfromapantry says:

    I am a fan of both Shakshuk and slug patrol. Like the use of green in this version. Will try with our courgettes.

  30. Cooksister says:

    Oh – such gorgeous shots! I particularly love the chard leaves… so far hubby has only picked our magenta ones – he needs to bring home a few yellow ones methinks! Love one-pan, eggy recipes like this – thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  31. JuYogi says:

    This not just sounds great, it also looks great!!!!
    I’m in love with your blog! Really god job!!

  32. Kavey says:

    We grew rainbow chard last year, then discovered we didn’t like it! But your shakshuka looks so beautiful!

  33. Newtrition4U says:

    Reblogged this on Newtrition4u.

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