So I think I’ve mentioned here before how fascinated I am by how many different places end up with very similar dishes. It shows how food really connects all of us. In some cases, as with many spices and vegetables, as people moved around and began to trade, new food items were introduced to new cultures. For example, chilies were brought to India from Central America via Portuguese traders. Whaaat?? I just think the history of food is so interesting!
Annnyway, food geek moment over. Sorry guys.
This dish just reminds me of that interconnectedness because so many countries have some type of egg dish like this – Italy has the frittata, Spain has the tortilla and Tunisia has this dish, called macqūda.
I have a beloved cookbook, Mediterranean Harvest by Martha Rose Shulman, that I skim through all the time. Often, she mentions a friend of hers, Clifford Wright, who is also an aficionado of Mediterranean cuisines. I finally ordered a copy of his book, Mediterranean Vegetables, and I’m really enjoying it so far. Such a wealth of knowledge!
The recipe below is heavily adapted from the book and in his notes on the recipe, Wright mentions that Tunisia has two similar forms of a cooked egg dish – one that is cooked stove top and one that is baked in the oven. This recipe originally called for stove top only, but I ended up giving it a quick broil at the end to give the top some color and texture.
My favorite part about this version is that it uses so many vegetables! I’ve never considered combining mashed vegetables in with eggs like this. It’s such an easy, tasty way to sneak in nutrients 😉
Upon further investigation of these Tunisian-style frittatas on the good ol’ internet, it looks like there are many variations using lots of different flavor combinations. I saw one starring cauliflower that looked awesome. Looks like there may be more of these in my future…
Another reason I love this dish? It’s one of those easy recipes you can make once and eat for a few meals. AKA, my favorite kind of dish. Breakfast is a solid choice, but it also works for lunch or a light dinner when paired up with salad greens.
I make frittatas fairly often because they’re a good “clean out the fridge” type of meal. My go to frittata usually includes some type of vegetable, some greens and a little cheese. But this dish has me seeing things in a whole new light!
I really like caraway, but never considered using it in eggs. And this was also my first time cooking with harissa, which will absolutely be happening more often. Learning about new ingredients or new ways of using what you’re familiar with is my favorite part about cooking.
Well, that and getting to eat afterwards 😀
- 1 lb. carrots, peeled & sliced
- 3 tbsp. freshly ground caraway seeds
- 2 tbsp. harissa
- ¼ c. finely chopped parsley (plus 1 tbsp. for garnish)
- 6 large garlic cloves, grated/crushed
- 1½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 8 eggs, beaten
- 2 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled & chopped fine
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Place carrots in a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Boil for 25 minutes or until tender. *This is a good time to boil your 2 eggs, if they aren't already (boil for 15 minutes and remove to ice water before peeling & chopping)*
- Once the carrots are cooked, drain them and place them in a large bowl. Mash with a fork to a chunky consistency.
- Mix in caraway, harissa, parsley, garlic, salt & pepper. Combine well.
- Mix the beaten eggs into the carrot mixture and combine well.
- Fold in the chopped, hard-boiled eggs.
- In a 10-inch, oven-safe pan, heat the olive oil over high heat. When the oil shimmers and begins to smoke, add the egg and carrot mixture. After about 2 minutes - the edges should be starting to brown and the oil will be bubbling around the edges - reduce heat to low. Cover and let cook for 15 minutes to set the center.
- Remove from stove top and broil in the oven for 2-3 minutes to fully set the top.
- Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with the additional tablespoon of chopped parsley.
recipe adapted from Clifford A. Wright’s Mediterranean Vegetables