Eggs in Purgatory

eggs in purgatorySimple, healthy, and delicious—the three criteria I live by for creating or following a recipe. Eggs in purgatory hit all of those marks. Plus, this dish whips up in no time!

The main ingredient is cauliflower, but don’t let that deter you from making this dish if you don’t usually like it. In fact, you probably won’t even realize that you’re eating cauliflower. That’s because its beautifully masked by the spicy crushed tomatoes and other ingredients.

I tried to find the origin of eggs in purgatory, or shakshuka as its called in North Africa and the Middle East, but apparently several cultures have laid claim to its creation. Although its origins may be a bit murky, whoever invented it sure did us all a favor! 😉

This is a perfect dish to make on a Saturday or Sunday morning, for brunch or even dinner—heck, anytime of day is perfect for making and devouring this dish! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. 💜

Eggs in Purgatory
Here’s what you’ll need:

1 small (or ½ of a medium) head of cauliflower, cut into ½-inch pieces
fine-grain sea salt
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes with peppers, onions, and garlic—salsa style
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 eggs
marjoram leaves for garnish
(optional—for spice lovers) red pepper flakes

Makes one large skillet full; about 2-4 servings.

  1. In a large pot, boil the cauliflower in salted water (a dash of sea salt will do) for one minute. Cauliflower should be barely tender.
  2. In a medium bowl, add the flour. Drain cauliflower, shaking off any excess water, and toss with the flour in your medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet (a cast iron skillet is ideal, but not necessary), heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Take the floured cauliflower, tapping off extra flour, and place into the skillet being careful not to burn yourself. Arrange in a single layer and cook until golden, 4-5 minutes, flipping from time to time to evenly cook and make golden.
  4. Stir in tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer. (Spice lovers: sprinkle red pepper flakes all over cauliflower and sauce mixture. Keep in mind a little goes a long way!)
  5. Using a spoon, make small pockets for the eggs near the outer edges of the skillet. Break eggs into the pockets you just made and place a cover over skillet. Cook until the eggs are set (4-5 minutes). Serve immediately, garnishing with the marjoram.


Printable recipe

This dish was inspired by Heidi Swanson’s recipe in her book, Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel.

Follow me on Twitter: @LibbeyC and Instagram: @ironwomandiaries


Overnight (Sent From Heaven Above) French Toast

Bloggers, when and where does the inspiration for your blogging come? Is it when you are running or biking countless miles? I can tell you that mine surely does not come from swimming. My mind is way too occupied thinking about 1-2-3 breathe simultaneously while thinking about my arms and are they actually helping to propel me through the water or are they just going through the motions, coupled with the thought of kicking from the hips and not from the knee, and lastly, what in the world is the guy in the next lane doing?! Today’s post started rattling around in my head a day ago and then came together as I was in the shower today. It also got me to thinking about what other bloggers do when the inspiration hits you. Do you pull out your phone, open a new note and type on there? Or do you grab for your journal you always have on hand and start vigorously writing away? Or, do you jump out of the shower, rush to your computer and type like a mad woman? As you guessed, I am currently the latter, although I am often the first one as well. This is all completely off topic and has no relation to what I want to share with you all today, but I just had to share my curiosity for when inspiration happens…

What I really want to share with you is the most amazing brunch recipe I came across this past Easter weekend. I hadn’t planned on sharing it with you all because 1. We decided to cook Easter brunch last minute, 2. It is not the most nutritious of recipes, and 3. (Most Important) I wasn’t sure if it would taste good! But it was heavenly and I must share it with you all for a weekend diet cheat. You will be ecstatic that you did, I promise. Just keep in mind that this is an overnight, two-step process. I assure you though, it is super simple and it only involves the overnight process so that all the ingredients can fully soak-in so that they melt in your mouth the next day!

So to keep this short and sweet today, here it is:

Overnight (Sent From Heaven Above) French ToastOvernight French Toast

1 1/2 tbsp. butter (I never use butter, what possessed me to do so I’m not sure, but I’m glad I did otherwise, with my luck, everything would have stuck to the bottom).
5 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup light vanilla soy milk
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (I suggest using a bread that has a little bit of a crust to it and is slightly dense, like that of the Italian bread. You might even be able to find a whole-wheat version at your grocery store).
3-4 apples (Depending on the size of the apples you use will determine how many you will need. Cut them into thinner slices, resulting in roughly 4 cups).
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional, but highly recommended)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2-9×13” pan (I actually used a glass pan with that was slightly bigger—dimensions 10.5×14.75” and 2.25in deep—which worked great and was needed in my case because my loaf was a little big).

Day 1

  1. Cut the butter into thin slices and place in the bottom of your glass pan (or whichever pan you intend to bake everything in the following day), making sure to evenly space the slices. Set aside for the time being.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Take the apples that you have already cut into thin slices and toss them in the sugar and cinnamon mixture, making sure to get them nicely coated. Once all of your apples are coated, place them evenly in the bottom of your pan with the butter slices. If adding the pecans, evenly sprinkle those on top of the apple slices. Cover and place in refrigerator overnight.
  3. In another medium bowl mix together your eggs, soy milk, vanilla and baking powder. If you haven’t already cut your bread into 1-inch cubes, do so now and place into second 9x13in pan. Pour egg mixture over bread, tossing bread to make sure to get them nicely coated. Cover and place in refrigerator overnight.

Day 2

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Take pans out of the refrigerator (I suggest you spray cooking oil, we use olive oil in a spray can, around the edges of the pan to make sure the bread doesn’t stick), and pour soaked bread cubes on top of the apples in your other pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  3. Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until apples are tender.

Printable recipe

* I used one Gala apple that my dad brought and two honey crisp apples. Use whatever apples you prefer, but I do suggest using a crisper, baking apple. I have very few food pickiness qualities, but apples are definitely one of them, thus why I first used the apple my dad brought to get rid of it! Sorry dad.

Devour. You’re welcome.

Modified from this original recipe (you can also find nutritional information for this recipe here):