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    Recipes: Give breakfast Middle Eastern flair with green shakshuka

    A staple in the Middle East, the egg-based dish is a quick and healthy meal that’s a breeze to adapt.

    Green shakshuka with leeks, swiss chard, and feta.
    PHOTO BY ANTHONY TIEULI; FOOD STYLING BY SHEILA JARNES/ENNIS INC.
    Green shakshuka with leeks, swiss chard, and feta.

    Striking the perfect balance of humble and exotic, shakshuka — a spicy tomato, onion, and pepper mixture with eggs cooked in it — has become a staple on some restaurant brunch menus and in home kitchens alike. Beloved for its flavor and healthful ingredients, it’s also easy to make, adaptable to different ingredients and tastes, and great for any meal of the day. Serve it with crusty bread, flatbread, or a simply prepared whole grain such as barley or farro.

    Green Shakshuka With Leeks, Swiss Chard, and Feta

    Serves 4

    3tablespoons olive oil
    2medium leeks, trimmed, white and light green parts halved lengthwise and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 4½ cups)
    1medium bunch Swiss chard (about 1½ pounds), stems and leaves separated, stems cut into ½-inch pieces and leaves chopped
    Salt and ground black pepper
    tablespoons pressed or grated garlic (about 7 medium cloves)
    ¾teaspoon red pepper flakes
    ¾teaspoon ground cumin
    ¾cup crumbled feta
    4to 8 eggs
    2medium scallions, thinly sliced (about ¼ cup)

    In a very large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the leeks, chard stems, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the chard leaves, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary and sprinkle the feta evenly over the vegetables. Off heat, use the back of a spoon to make an indentation for each egg, crack one egg into each, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Return the skillet to medium heat, cover, and cook until egg whites are set and yolks are warm and slightly thickened but still liquid, rotating the skillet as necessary for the eggs to cook evenly. Sprinkle with the scallions and serve at once.

    Golden Shakshuka With Ginger and Saffron

    Serves 4

    Radiating warmth from the ginger and a golden glow from the bell peppers and aromatic saffron, this version is milder than classic shakshuka.

    3tablespoons olive oil
    2medium onions, chopped
    3medium yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped
    Salt and ground black pepper
    tablespoons grated fresh ginger
    1/8teaspoon red pepper flakes
    1can (14.5-ounces) petite-diced tomatoes
    ¼teaspoon crushed saffron threads
    6medium scallions, thinly sliced (about ¾ cup)
    4to 8 eggs

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    In a very large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onions, bell peppers, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions and peppers have softened, about 10 minutes. Add the ginger and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Adjust the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors, about 5 minutes.

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    In a small bowl, mix the saffron with 2 tablespoons hot water until tinted and fragrant. Add the saffron water to the skillet, stir to mix, and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add ½ teaspoon salt, ground black pepper to taste, and most of the scallions and stir to mix. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Off heat, use the back of a spoon to make an indentation for each egg, crack one egg into each, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Return the skillet to medium heat, cover, and cook until egg whites are set and yolks are warm and slightly thickened but still liquid, rotating the skillet as necessary for the eggs to cook evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining scallions and serve at once.

    TIP: ALL MIXED UP

    Common throughout the Middle East and strongly identified with Israel today, shakshuka — an Arabic word meaning, essentially, “a mixture” or “all mixed up” — is thought to have arrived there with Jewish immigrants from North Africa. While variations on the recipe abound, the most popular and widely recognized formula features tomatoes, peppers, and eggs.
    Adobe Stock
    Common throughout the Middle East and strongly identified with Israel today, shakshuka — an Arabic word meaning, essentially, “a mixture” or “all mixed up” — is thought to have arrived there with Jewish immigrants from North Africa. While variations on the recipe abound, the most popular and widely recognized formula features tomatoes, peppers, and eggs.

    Korean-esque Shakshuka With Kimchi

    Serves 4

    I confess to regarding a lot of fusion food with some suspicion, but here the classic Korean flavors of fermented kimchi, spicy gochujang (Korean chili paste), toasty sesame oil, and garlic — lots of it — dovetail nicely with shakshuka. The flavor recalls bibimbap, so consider serving it over rice.

    Squeeze and chop the kimchi first, so it will be ready when you need it.

    2tablespoons vegetable oil
    2medium onions, chopped
    1medium red or orange bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
    Salt and pepper
    cups Napa cabbage kimchi, drained, squeezed, and chopped (about 1 generous cup)
    tablespoons Asian sesame oil, plus extra for drizzling
    2tablespoons pressed or grated garlic (about 10 medium cloves)
    1can (14.5-ounce) petite-diced tomatoes
    1tablespoon gochujang, or more, to taste
    6medium scallions, thinly sliced (about ¾ cup)
    4to 8 eggs

    In a very large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onions, bell pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the kimchi and cook, stirring, to heat through, about 2 minutes longer. Add the sesame oil and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and gochujang, stir to mix, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Adjust the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors, about 5 minutes.

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    Add most of the scallions and stir to mix. Adjust the seasoning with salt and gochujang if necessary. Off heat, use the back of a spoon to make an indentation for each egg, crack one egg into each, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Return the skillet to medium heat, cover, and cook until egg whites are set and yolks are warm and slightly thickened but still liquid, rotating the skillet as necessary for the eggs to cook evenly. Drizzle with a little sesame oil, sprinkle with the remaining scallions, and serve at once.

    Adam Ried appears regularly on “America’s Test Kitchen.” Send comments to cooking@globe.com. Follow us on Twitter @BostonGlobeMag.