[Photograph: Clare Barboza]

Megan Gordon's take on shakshuka in her new cookbook, Whole-Grain Mornings, isn't particularly traditional. There are some Anaheim chiles in there for heat, sure, and the gently poached eggs and tomato sauce meld together into a wonderfully comforting rich stew. Yet Gordon bulks up the dish with chewy wheat berries and chopped kale for color and texture. Instead of a bowl of liquid-y tomato sauce ready for pita sopping, Gordon's dish is thicker, almost fork-friendly, and looks more like ratatouille than what I usually expect. No matter the appearance, it's darn tasty and makes a super hearty breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Why I picked this recipe: I'd never thought to add grains to shakshuka, and it sounded like a great way make a heartier dish.

What worked: I appreciated the chewy texture of the wheat berries in the dish, and loved the gentle level of spice from the Anaheims. Don't skip the feta on top, either!

What didn't: To cook the eggs evenly, I found that I needed to rotate the pan during the poaching time. If you have a larger burner, you may not have this problem.

Suggested tweaks: If you want a little more subtlety with the added greens, you can use spinach in place of the kale. A dab or two of harissa would also not be out of place here.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Whole-Grain Mornings to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. She blogs at Cooking Wolves. Follow her @KateHWiliams.

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