Inspiration for tonight's dinner: the joys of a good, stark contrast. Simple and elegant Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Red Onion and Pecorino starts us off; spicy Moroccan Merguez Ragout rounds the meal out. Delicate, bold, tangy, smoky: with tonight's dinner, you can have it all.
We've included a sort of meal-making plan of action below, but click on the photos or links to find the fully-fleshed out recipes. A delicious supper in, oh, about an hour -- eat up!
If you're a fan of egg-based mains, check out Food52 favorites Daddy's Carbonara and Rhonda's Spaghetti with Fried Eggs. And browse Food52's vast recipe collection for more menu ideas and many brilliant options for dinner tonight!
The spicy merguez (you can use hot Italian sausage if you can't find merguez or chorizo) is bathed in a lush, smoky sauce of tomatoes, onion, garlic and spices; when you cut into the soft eggs on top, poached right in the sauce, the buttery yolk combines with the rest of the dish and mellows any sharp edges. - Amanda & Merrill
1 large onion, small dice
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 pound merguez sausage, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 tablespoon ras el hanout, see note above
1 teaspoon Spanish sweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 15-ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes, preferably Muir Glen
8 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro, stems included
2 tablespoons harissa, see note above
warm crusty bread, for serving
1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until golden. Toss in the garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add the merguez and sauté until almost cooked through, about 3 minutes.
2. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the Ras el Hanout, Spanish smoked paprika and salt. Stir to combine and cook for a minute to lightly toast the spices. Add the tomatoes. Turn up the heat to medium and cook until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
3. Crack the eggs over the mixture, cover and cook until the whites set, but the yolks are still soft.
4. Divide the eggs and ragout among four warm bowls using a large spoon. Top with a sprinkling of cilantro and a teaspoon of Harissa.
5. Serve immediately with crusty bread.
This salad is simplicity itself: delicately shaved raw Brussels sprouts with wisps of red onion, a light, lemony dressing spiked generously with whole grain mustard, and a generous hit of tangy Pecorino. - Merrill
The Grocery List
3 cups brussels sprouts
1/2 cup finely grated pecorino romano
1 pound Merguez sausage
2 15 ounce cans of tomatoes
1/2 cup cilantro
We assuming that you enterprising people already have a red onion, eggs, garlic, salt, pepper, mustard, a lemon, honey, olive oil, and paprika in your fridge and/or pantries. If not, it's a good time to stock up on the basics!
The Plan: This will take less than 30 minutes. Seriously.
1. Chop, slice, dice, grate and measure everything.
2. Soak the red onion for the sprout salad.
3. Tackle the salad dressing. Toss the salad together (undressed).
4. Focus all your attention on the eggs.
5. As you wait for the whites to set, toss the salad with the dressing. Serve with nice crusty bread and enjoy!
Aside: We think the cook deserves a lengthy foot massage tonight! Why? Because dinner is served.
A Note about the Moroccan Ragout : In the interest of full disclosure, we'll admit that the recipe calls for two things that may, at first glance, be scary; harissa and ras el hanout. The secret is, they aren't. First, harissa. These days, many grocery stores carry it (just ask a knowledgable-looking employee) and it's a nice thing to have a jar of in your fridge as you can make lots of delicious things with it, like this and this and this! Meanwhile, ras el hanout is just a blend of cumin, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and cloves, so if you have a spice rack, you have ras el hanout.
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