What’s On My Table With Alexandra Dudley
What’s On My Table With Alexandra Dudley

What’s On My Table With Alexandra Dudley

Alexandra Dudley is a food columnist, cookbook author and host of the Come For Supper podcast. In this monthly column, she takes us inside her east London kitchen to show us what she’s cooking and the tools she’s loving. This time, it’s an elevated take on a shakshuka – plus, three of her favourite kitchen accessories…
By Alexandra Dudley

I’ve never really been a brunch person. In fact, I find the concept quite distressing. Why skip either breakfast or lunch when you can enjoy both? I have always been a very early riser and tend to eat breakfast around 8am. The typical leisurely timing of brunch (11.30am onwards) means I either forego breakfast and arrive ravenous or eat beforehand and am then faced with the prospect of tepid eggs and average pancakes.

By the time ‘brunch time’ rolls around I am not in the mood for breakfast food. I am thinking about lunch and I want something savoury and satisfying and warm: a dry martini followed by a really good chicken pie or perhaps a good piece of grilled fish. This year, I have really (and I mean really) tried to sleep more or at least lie in bed and read over the weekend. I tend to eat my breakfast quietly while my husband snoozes alongside me and by the time he rises, it’s brunch time. I’ve tried to get into it and in a way, I have and it’s really because of shakshuka. Shakshuka is a delicious Middle Eastern and North African dish of eggs baked in a spiced tomato base. It has become a popular dish in lots of brunch spots but really it can be enjoyed at any time of the day. I think the best brunch is made at home. I love adding chickpeas and a spoonful of harissa paste to my shakshuka for additional texture and a bit of an extra kick.

Harissa Chickpea Shakshuka

Total Time
25 Minutes
3 cloves of garlic, finely grated
Olive oil
1 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of ground coriander
1 tsp of smoked paprika
½ tsp of cayenne pepper
½ tsp of ground cinnamon
1 heaped tbsp of harissa (I like Belazu)
4 tbsp of tomato purée
200g of tomato sauce or you could use chopped tomatoes
100ml of water
1 tsp of sea salt
2 tsp of sugar
4 eggs
Coriander to garnish
Step 1

Cook the garlic in a good glug of olive oil in heavy based pan (that has a lid) over a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes until it just begins to sizzle.

Step 2

Add the harissa and tomato purée and cook for a couple of minutes until it begins to smell fragrant.

Step 3

Add the chopped tomatoes and water and cook for a few mins till bubbling. Season with sea salt and a little sugar, then stir in the chickpeas and cook for another 5 minutes until the chickpeas are warm.

Step 4

Crack in the eggs, season with some salt and pepper, cover with the lid and cook for another 4 minutes until the whites have set but the yolks are still wobbly. The eggs will keep cooking so don’t worry.

Step 5

Add some more freshly cracked black pepper, sprinkle over the coriander and enjoy.


Butter Dish, £55 | Issy Granger

I love this circus stripe red butter dish from Issy Granger. It brings me great joy and she has released a range of egg cups, too. 

Available at IssyGranger.com

Porcelain Pedestal Bowl, £250 | Joanna Ling

Spring is here and I am loving popping supermarket £1 daffodils and tulips into pretty vases. This one from Joanna Ling is high on my wish list. 

Available at Glassette.com

Navy Candy Stripe Vase, £70 | Hodge Pots

I love the unique wobble of each of these vases. No two are the same. They look fab with just one strong flower stem in there.

Available at HodgePots.com


Marmo Bristol

I went to Bristol for the first time a few weeks ago to watch a musical stage adaptation of Starter For Ten. It was brilliant and I’m crossing my fingers that the show transfers to the West End. We needed somewhere to eat dinner before and after much Googling, I stumbled across restaurant/wine bar Marmo, which is a five-minute walk from The Bristol Old Vic. Think semi-open kitchen, daily printed paper menus and shelves lined with vibrantly labeled bottles of natural wine. 

The menu is small, which I love. We started with the holy trinity of sourdough, fat juicy anchovies and burrata that came in a pool of peppery olive oil showered in grated bottarga. A salad of Jerusalem artichoke with bitter leaves and fresh grated horseradish went down very well with two glasses of sparkling wine but my favourite was a dish of whipped cods’ roe on polenta. The polenta came in an almost fried patty form, perfectly crispy on the outside and soft and creamy in the middle. It was topped with the roe, then winter tomatoes, lightly pickled shallots and a tumble of herbs. It’s the sort of place I would return to in a heartbeat. 

Visit Marmo.Restaurant

For more from Alexandra, follow her @AlexandraDudley or visit AlexandraDudley.com

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