WATCH: Michelin-star chef Michael Smith creates two easy-to-make-at-home summer recipes

Shakshouka is a traditional North African dish made with fresh eggs, tomato, onions and peppers, but it’s often associated with Middle East cuisine.

I ate a lot of it during a trip to Tel Aviv when the Loch Bay Restaurant was selected to represent Scotland at the Round Tables Food Festival held there.

Regarded as the queen of breakfasts, it is a dish that can be eaten at any time of the day and is equally good as a light lunch or supper. It can be made using fresh or tinned tomatoes, but it’s important to use really fresh eggs – we get ours straight from the croft on Skye.

If you can, buy from a farmer’s market, but if buying from the supermarket, choose eggs with a long use-buy date as they will be the freshest.

Today’s second recipe is for whole roast cauliflower.

Roasting it intensifies and changes the flavour.

This dish is perfect for sharing – imagine yourself sitting in the garden, having a few drinks with friends, breaking off pieces of the cauliflower and then dipping the pieces into a very easy-to-make crowdie, yoghurt and lemon dip.

When choosing a cauliflower, look for one that’s tightly wrapped up in leaves and is nice and compact.

A fantastic alternative to the usual crisps and dips, this is a dish that will have your friends hoping they get asked round more often!



© DC Thomson

Ingredients, serves four

  • 4tbsp Scottish rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2tsp sweet smoked pimenton (or sweet paprika)
  • ½tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ to 1tsp cayenne pepper
  • 800g tinned tomatoes (or ripe tomatoes in season)
  • 2tsp sugar
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 4-8 eggs, depending on hunger
  • Small bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

The method

  • Heat the oil in a large lidded frying pan over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook until golden, then add the peppers.
  • Fry until both are soft, then stir in the garlic and spices and cook for another couple of minutes.
  • Pour in the tomatoes and roughly mash.
  • Stir in the sugar and lemon juice, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Taste and season, adding more cayenne if you prefer it spicier.
  • Make four to eight divots in the sauce and break in the eggs.
  • Season them lightly, turn the heat right down as low as possible, cover and cook for about 10 minutes until they’re just set. Sprinkle with coriander and serve.

Whole roast cauliflower with crowdie dip

© DC Thomson
Roast cauliflower<br />Crowdie with yoghurt and lemon dip. Pictures by Sandy McCook.

Ingredients, serves four

  • 1 large cauliflower, about 1kg
  • Fine salt
  • 50g butter, softened
  • 2tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1tbsp each sesame and poppy seeds for garnish
  • For the sauce (optional):
  • 2tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped (optional)
  • Leaves from a couple of sprigs of Thyme or Rosemary
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

For the dip:

  • 150g crowdie
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1tbsp rapeseed oil

The method

  • Trim the leaves of the cauliflower, if necessary, so the top of the white part is exposed and level the base so it sits flat.
  • Heat the oven to 240°C.
  • Bring to the boil a large pan of water with 1tbsp fine salt per litre dissolved in it, then lower in the cauliflower, stem-side up.
  • Bring to the boil again and cook for eight minutes, turning once if necessary, then drain and leave to dry in a colander, florets-side down, for 10 minutes.
  • Beat the oil into the butter.
  • Rub all over the cauliflower and season, then roast on a baking tray for 20 to 30 minutes until well browned, basting occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, if you’re making the sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and fry the garlic and anchovies, if using, until the garlic is golden and the anchovies begin to break down. Stir in the herbs and the grated zest of the lemon, followed by the tomatoes and 2tbsp lemon juice.
  • Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  • Season to taste, then pour into a shallow bowl and place the cauliflower in the middle.
  • To make the dip, stir the zest, juice and oil into the crowdie.
  • Top with a little rapeseed oil and serve alongside the cauliflower when it is cool enough to handle.