Updated: Dec 27, 2022
Shakshuka is a dish that has a special place in my culinary journey. It was a recipe that I discovered during my travels to the Middle East, and it quickly became one of my all-time favorites. The combination of eggs poached in a flavorful tomato sauce, seasoned with spices like cumin, paprika, and chili flakes, and possibly including ingredients like onions, bell peppers, and meat, is truly irresistible.
But my love for shakshuka didn't stop at just enjoying it as a traditional meal. I became so enamored with the flavors and versatility of this dish that I decided to use it as the filling for one of my signature panini pies. And thus, the "shakshuka panini pie" was born. By taking the classic flavors of shakshuka and encasing them in a hearty bread crust, I was able to create a portable and convenient version of this beloved dish. The result is a savory and satisfying snack that can be enjoyed at any time of day.
The shakshuka panini pie has become a hit among my friends and family, and when one of my vegan friends mentioned that he also would like to be able to try it, I became inspired to create a vegan version of the shakshuka panini pie. I replaced the eggs with tofu, which I crumbled and sautéed with nutritional yeast until it was slightly browned, and then seasoned it with the same spices I used in the regular shakshuka. I was able to recreate the beloved flavors of shakshuka in a plant-based form, and my friend loved it!
The shakshuka panini pie, whether made with eggs or tofu, is a reminder of the warm hospitality and delicious food I experienced during my travels to the Middle East. And it's a testament to the power of food to bring people together, no matter their dietary preferences or lifestyle choices.