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My compost bin could double as the set of a mini horror film right now. Jeff won't touch it, and I have to take a deep breath before I can open it. And then it's only with ninja-fast precision that I feed the beast before slamming it shut. So I'm leaning to recipes that require little to no waste.

I got carried away buying tomatoes at the farmers market over the weekend, and then my friend Jolie came through town with her daughter Gemma on their way home from summer camp, loaded with more farm-fresh tomatoes. Jeff and I were leaving town, and there was no way I was going to let my tomato surplus turn mealy in the fridge - and certainly no way I was going to keep the compost bin open long enough to toss them. So I chopped, peeled and cooked them down with onions and garlic to make a base for Shakshuka.

Shakshuka is basically eggs poached in tomato sauce. While its provenance is the Middle East, there are different regional interpretations of Shakshuka that sometimes include vegetables or chickpeas. You can use any flavor profile you like including fresh herbs, chilis or preserved lemon. Tomatoes are so fresh now that this one didn't really need anything else.

Shakshuka is great for brunch or dinner. And it's good in cold weather or hot. But like anything you take the time to cook for friends, lovers or yourself, everything is better in its peak season freshness. Serve it with yummy crusty bread to mop it all up.


3 lbs tomatoes, peeled and rough chopped (I used cherry, yellow and red)

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

6 eggs

olive oil

salt/pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a ceramic or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Sautee the onions with a dash of salt until soft and golden. Add the tomatoes and garlic, reduce heat to low and let simmer for three hours. Preheat the oven to 350. With a spatula dig six small wells into the sauce. Crack the eggs into the wells (I crack them individually into a small bowl first and then pour them one-by-one into the wells). Bake for about 15 minutes.

You can make the sauce a day or two in advance and stick it in the fridge. The flavors will only get better.

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