Green Spinach Shakshuka
My Spinach Shakshuka is the tangy cousin of my Easy Shakshuka. It is just as easy, but possibly even more delicious! The Spinach Shakshuka uses tomatillos instead of tomatoes and cilantro instead of basil. Shakshuka is a traditional Middle-Eastern dish that now has a Mexican flair with a few ingredients swaps! I love making this Spinach Shakshuka for a weekend brunch, but it is just as good for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
To make my Spinach Shakshuka you only need one oven-safe pan (preferably a cast-iron skillet), which means easy clean up! Make sure it is at least one-inch deep so there is enough tomatillo saucy goodness to poach the eggs.
In Spanish, Tomatillos (TOH-muh-TEE-yos) means “little tomato.” These small, spherical fruits are also called husk tomatoes because they look like an unripe tomato wrapped in a papery husk. They are more closely related to ground cherries and cape gooseberries than tomatoes. Tomatillo’s are native to Mexico and have also been found all over the Americas with suitable climate.1 Tomatillos are a staple in Mexican cuisine and are the star of salsa verde. They can be used raw and cooked, just like tomatoes.
Tomatillos’ flavor is less sweet and more tart and acidic than a tomato. They have so many culinary applications and are delicious in my Spinach Shakshuka. Before cooking with tomatillos, simply peel the husk and rinse off the sticky residue that is usually on the surface. When selecting tomatillos look for ones that are dry and hard with tight fitting husks. A firm tomatillo can last in the crisper drawer for 2-3 weeks!2 If you are having trouble finding fresh tomatillos, most grocery stores sell them in cans. An 11-ounce jar can replace 1 pound of fresh tomatillos.3
In my Spinach Shakshuka, like most my recipes I focus on quick simple meals that can be ready in a snap. If you want to get a little extra, go ahead and broil the tomatillos before adding to the stovetop skillet. This will lend a charred, smoky flavor that is often found in salsa verde.
Tomatillos add not only great taste to my Spinach Shakshuka, but also nutrition! Tomatillos are a good source of Vitamin C which keeps our immune system strong. They have Vitamin K which help our bodies heal quickly. They also have potassium, an electrolyte that helps build muscle and promote heart health. And my favorite nutrient, fiber! Fiber helps with healthy digestion and keeps us full for longer.4
Tomatillos are often paired with a spicy pepper like a serrano or jalapeno. Feel free to add them to my Spinach Shakshuka if you are looking for heat! If you choose to broil the tomatillos first, I would do the same with the hot peppers. Be careful, they will take less time to get the desired char and should be removed from the oven sooner.
Spinach is in the Amaranth family and is distantly related to beets and quinoa.5 It is a popular green for its nutritional profile, ease of preparing and affordability. Feel free to buy spinach by the bunch or from a sealed bag, if using a bunch make sure to chop the stems into bite-size pieces. Spinach is a cool weather crop and here in New York it’s in season in the Spring, Fall and early Winter.
Thanks to Popeye (the sailor, not the fast-food chain) most of us know that spinach is a nutritional powerhouse. Spinach is an excellent source of fiber, high in vitamin A, C, iron, folate and a good source of magnesium.6 Both raw and cooked spinach are excellent sources of iron, but cooked spinach has 3 mg iron vs 1 mg raw. It is important to note that plant-based iron is non-heme iron and is not as well absorbed as iron from animal sources.7
Let’s Get Cooking!
So what is stopping you from making my Mexican-inspired Spinach Shakshuka?! Tomatillos can be used fresh or canned and feel free to add hot peppers. If you want the dish to be creamy try adding sour cream, plain yogurt or feta cheese. Enjoy!
- tomatillo | Description, Plant, & Uses. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/plant/tomatillo. Accessed February 28, 2020.
- Tomatillo. Have A Plant. https://fruitsandveggies.org/fruits-and-veggies/tomatillo/. Accessed February 28, 2020.
- Shulman MR. Cooking With a Mexican Favorite, the Tomatillo. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/health/nutrition/13recipehealth.html. Published September 13, 2010. Accessed February 28, 2020.
- Tomatillos | EatFresh. https://eatfresh.org/discover-foods/tomatillos. Accessed February 28, 2020.
- Spinach 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/spinach. Accessed February 28, 2020.
- Spinach. Have A Plant. https://fruitsandveggies.org/fruits-and-veggies/spinach/. Accessed February 28, 2020.
- Cooked vs. Raw Spinach for Iron Content. https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/cooked-vs-raw-spinach-iron-content-1420.html. Accessed February 28, 2020.
- 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ onion diced
- 1 green pepper diced
- 1 pound tomatillos diced
- 1 bunch Spinach (or swiss chard) chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons cilantro chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Heat the oil in a 12-inch cast iron pan or ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the tomato paste, onion, pepper, tomatillos, and chard; sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the salt and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Make 4 wells in the sauce and gently break one egg into each. Transfer to the oven and bake until the whites are cooked and yolks are set, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 3 to 5 minutes, garnish with cilantro, and carefully spoon onto plates.