Summer tomatoes are upon us; add this recipe to your bag of tricks when you grow weary of caprese salads (although that is surely impossible). Actually, this recipe can serve as a convincing slight of hand even for pale winter tomatoes, but it is surely better with summer’s ripe red bounty. This is a simple egg dish, hailing from Greece, that hinges upon a neat little trick: grating your tomatoes. You shave a tiny piece of skin off the base of the tomato, and grate the entire tomato on the large holes of a box grater, leaving the majority of the skin behind. This process renders a lush tomato pulp, which is then sauteed with garlic and a pinch of oregano until the water has evaporated, and the tomato-y flavor is concentrated and glorified. You could stop there, toss this tomato mixture with some hot penne pasta, baby spinach, and a few kalamata olives, and call it dinner -or- you could make breakfast. Scramble in a couple beaten eggs, stir until they are cooked to your liking, and top the whole thing off with a little bit of feta. The result is a simple and satisfying Greek breakfast that will fuel you through your work day, but also feels like a low-key treat on a lazy Saturday morning.
I like the flavor of tomatoes; I like scrambled eggs; I don’t like watery eggs. Seeing as tomatoes are full of water, my personal preferences would dictate that tomatoes and eggs don’t mix, but this methodology addresses the problem, and leaves you with a fluffy and flavorful eggs, not the least bit watery. You could add whatever vegetables you like: onion, zucchini, mushrooms, or bell peppers before the tomatoes; baby spinach or arugula before the eggs; avocado or olives at the end. However, the first time you make this dish, I suggest sticking with the purity of this recipe.
Greek Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes (slightly adapted from Mark Bittman)
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil or butter
- 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 large tomato
- 1 hefty pinch dried oregano, crushed between your fingers
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- A few crumbles of good quality feta
- Cut off a dime-size piece of the base of the tomato using a sharp knife. Grate the tomato from the base along the coarse holes of a box grater, allowing the skin to be left behind.
- Put a skillet over medium heat, and warm the olive oil. Add the garlic, and cook for about 30-60 minutes, so that it starts to cook, but doesn’t brown. Add the grated tomatoes, and oregano. Cook them until all their water has cooked off and all that’s left is thick pulp, about 10 minutes.
- Pour in the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Stir all together with a wooden spoon. Remove when the eggs are cooked to desired doneness, anywhere between 5 and 8 minutes.
- Transfer to serving plates and sprinkle with feta cheese.
August 27, 2015