Elevate Your Shakshuka With Fire-Roasted Tomatoes

That a dish made in just one pan can be so captivating is perplexing. But it all adds up when you take a closer look at shakshuka's elements. Eggs poached in a fresh tomato sauce, and a herbaceous assemblage that includes garlic, cumin, and cayenne pepper means you're in for massive flavors.

Now, imagine, instead of a recipe using regular tomatoes, a fire-roasted shakshuka. Fire-roasted tomatoes are tomatoes cooked to a char over an open flame. One of the most significant changes is that the tomatoes lose water as they cook. By the time they're done, they're more concentrated, sweeter, caramelized, and irresistibly smoky. What was once a slightly acidic fruit becomes a ball of rich and earthy flavor depth.

Add fire-roasted tomatoes to shakshuka and it transforms its flavor dramatically. There's something magical about the charred essence paired with eggs. As they poach, the eggs take on that smoky edge, giving the dish a new dimension. Bold, spicy, rich, and smoky are just some of the fitting adjectives to describe this upgraded version of shakshuka.

Tips for making your own fire-roasted tomatoes

No matter which tomato variety you have on hand, you can make delicious fire-roasted tomatoes. Cocktail, grape, cherry, beefsteak, you name it you can roast it. The best variety, however? Roma. They have the advantage of starting out with a full-bodied flavor. Plus, they contain less water and more flesh, which means the tomato is less subject to steaming and more prone to roasting. It's a double win, essentially.

Size is also an important factor when choosing which tomatoes to roast. Small varieties like cherry tomatoes will dry faster, but you can counter that by using olive oil. Acting as a coating, olive oil helps the tomatoes to roast slower as opposed to their water simply evaporating, so bear that in mind.

A grill basket is perfect for roasting tomatoes. Depending on their size, halved tomatoes will need roughly 10 minutes on the grill, but cook them until slightly charred. You can get a similar though less smoky flavor by roasting them in the oven on a wire grill set over a roasting pan for around 40 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Alternatively, simply buy canned fire-roasted tomatoes.

Don't forget to season your fire-roasted tomatoes. Salt and pepper is a good start, while garlic and Italian seasoning will complement the charred taste. The best part? You can use fire-roasted tomatoes in more recipes than just shakshuka; try them in our fire-roasted salsa recipe or to boost flavor in a pasta-friendly quick tomato sauce.