Israeli cuisine has adopted elements of various styles of Jewish cuisine, particularly the Mizrahi, Sephardic and Ashkenazi styles of cooking. It incorporates many foods traditionally eaten in Levantine, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, and foods such as falafel, hummus, msabbha, shakshouka, couscous, and za'atar are now widely popular in Israel. Other influences on the cuisine are the availability of foods common to the Mediterranean region, especially certain kinds of fruits and vegetables, dairy products and fish, as well as the distinctive traditional dishes prepared at holiday times.
We took time to catch up with Amit Neev, Head of Global Compensation & Benefits at Adama, to talk about food and farming. Passionate about food he said “All food originates from agriculture (even pasta and pizza…). As someone who enjoys food and cooking, I’m glad to work in a company which protects agriculture in various ways and provides solutions for ensuring both the quality and quantity of crops.”
Amit's home, Israel is known as Europe’s winter garden, thanks to its favorable climate. This allows the production regions to grow peppers and other key vegetables at a time of year when crops in northern and central Europe are almost frozen. However Israel does have production challenges, one of the main ones being water supply. Yet with incredible innovation the Israeli nation has been able to make the desert bloom. In celebration of this, Amit’s favorite Israeli dish, Shaksuka includes delicious peppers and tomatoes.
Shaksuka Recipe (For 2 portions):
- 1 medium onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 red pepper
- 1 green pepper (or any other combination of peppers)
- 1 chili pepper (if you like your Shaksuka hot)
- 1 large tomato
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes (400 gr)
- 4 eggs
- ½ teaspoon of sweet paprika powder and ½ teaspoon of hot paprika powder (or according to taste)
- Black pepper
- 2-3 spoons of olive oil
- Parsley for garnish
- Finely chop the onion, garlic, peppers and tomato.
- Heat the oil in a pan or skillet and add the chopped vegetables except the tomato. Add a pinch of salt. Fry on a medium-high heat and stir occasionally until the vegetables are soft and slightly seared.
- Add the tomato and fry for 2-3 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Reduce the heat, and add the crushed tomatoes, salt, black pepper and paprika. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally and make sure that the mixture does not burn.
- Carefully break each of the 4 eggs on top of the mixture. Add a little salt and black pepper on top of the eggs and cover with a lid. Cook for 4-7 minutes (if you prefer your egg yolks soft, cook 4-5 minutes).
- Remove from heat and garnish with chopped parsley.
Enjoy served with Thina or Feta cheese and most important – a soft bread which can be used to absorb the egg yolk and sauce.