Our best intentions are challenged daily and we often find ourselves making choices we thought we wouldn’t. This applies to food too. When I’m tired, grumpy, or both, what sort of food do I crave? What sort of meals do I end up preparing? Certainly not the kind that will benefit my family or my heart. That’s why planning meals is useful. Shopping for specific ingredients rather than random items that may or may not make a meal or two is definitely wisest. Even so, there are times when unplanned meals come together with the ingredients in the fridge. That’s what happened today and the results were tasty, filling and chalked up some brownie points with my wife. She loves it when we, “use things up”, although, if we shopped smarter, we wouldn’t need to do so! The temptation to resort to frozen pizzas or take away is not always easy to resist when you’re exhausted. That’s one of the battles being fought by food lovers the world over, particularly the Slow Food movement. Today, quality food prevailed. I wanted to sit down and eat some cake, but you’ll be glad to hear that I chose instead to fight the good fight.
I decided to make an omelette with lots of my favourite things in it. This is a fantastic opportunity to use up various bits and bobs. It was also a good way of getting a variety of healthy ingredients into my body without resorting to making a salad. Nice as they can be, I’m just not a salad fan, and listening to the rain hit the windows didn’t inspire any urges for a leafy dinner. The variations on this recipe are too numerous to list, but I definitely would have use more herbs from the garden (thyme, Greek oregano, parsley, mint, marjoram) if the rain hadn’t been bouncing off the ground. Use what’s in and try to keep it colourful.
3 or 4 large eggs
2 ripe tomatoes (sliced)
1 courgette (diced)
1 red onion (sliced)
1 onion (sliced)
2 garlic cloves (sliced)
1 handful Kalamata olives (pitted & halved)
2 tblspoons fresh basil (sliced)
1 tblspoon dried oregano
Heat some oil in a frying pan or wok and fry the courgette on a high heat. Courgettes have a high water content and low temperatures will simply allow the courgette to release that water and go soggy. Once it begins to brown, take it off the heat and set it aside in a bowl. Next gently fry the onion and garlic until soft and just cooked. Don’t brown them. Set these aside too.
Beat the eggs and season with salt, pepper and oregano. Heat a large frying pan and add a little oil before pouring the eggs in. Quickly add the courgette, tomatoes, basil, onion and garlic and Kalamata olives.
Do they need to be from Kalamata? Nope. A huge variety of olives are available. Spanish olives are the most common, though these tend to be poor quality unless you’re willing to spend more. Be careful. Some companies are well aware of the desirability of Greek olives and package their Spanish produce cleverly, going as far as displaying a small Greek flag on their jars. The easiest way to spot dodgy olives is by looking out for phrases like Greek-style olives. Like all things, paying a little more will give you a completely different product that is worth your time. Simple dishes rely on the quality of the ingredients. Perhaps I’m a little too passionate about olives. Let’s get back to the omelette.
Cook the omelette on a low heat so that it can cook through without needing to be turned over. I’ve included red onion in the recipe for colour and because I like the fresh, sweet taste. It doesn’t really need to be cooked. The white onion and garlic would be overpowering if left uncooked, hence the quick fry. Add the red onion last and grind some pepper over the omelette as it is cooking. Once the egg has cooked through and is no longer runny on top, slide it onto a plate and season again if necessary. I think this is a great summer meal that could be shared and eaten with salad (if you want to live your life like that). A little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil helps it go down a treat!