Archive | June 2012

Roasted Cherry Tomato Egg Crepe

Around this time last year, my husband and I were vacationing in Vancouver, British Columbia. On the morning we were exploring Granville Island, we had breakfast at Agro Cafe. We walked in quite early and the place was already brimming with people. It was absolutely charming, quite raw, and oh-so inviting. I felt like I was home in Toronto having breakfast in one of my favourite neighbourhood treasures. I perused the menu quickly and it didn’t take long for my husband to see my disappointment. Sure they used local, organic ingredients, but it was a breakfast centered around eggs. Needless to say that eggs are not my preferred choice for breakfast. I much prefer a big plate of pancakes (my absolute favourite), waffles, French toast, scones – yes, the carbs!

In spite of my original disappointment, I have to admit that I had a very happy food moment. My breakfast consisted quite simply of: scrambled eggs, toast, home fries, a couple of slices of oranges, and a very small portion of cooked cherry tomatoes, all extremely unassuming. Well, let me tell you that the aroma coming from the cooked cherry tomatoes was nothing less than intoxicating. With excitement, I spooned the cherry tomato mixture over the scrambled eggs. Then placed a big spoonful on the multi-grain piece of toast, popped it in my mouth and for a moment experienced pure and utter bliss. 

Tomatoes and eggs are a classic combination for a reason. I make a quiche that gets topped with thinly sliced tomatoes that for me, just make that dish.

So, this is my attempt to recreate my Granville breakfast experience. I still don’t like eggs for breakfast, so I’m serving it for dinner instead. I didn’t care for the dried oregano in the original, so I’ve replaced it with fresh oregano and I don’t think they included garlic in theirs, but it is absolutely indispensable in this recipe. Don’t fret the amount; roasted garlic is sweet and extremely complementary to roasted tomatoes and though I normally don’t like garlic in my eggs, it just works here. Trust me! It’s pure sweetness, literally!

I served it with a big leafy green salad and a big rustic chunk of spelt bread. So satisfying on so many levels. In short, anything that gets me excited about eggs is definitely worth checking out. This is a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

Cherry tomatoes 1 lb (1 pint)
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Garlic, cloves, crushed 3
Salt  
Black pepper  
Basil, fresh, chopped 1 tbsp
Oregano, fresh, chopped 1 tbsp
Eggs 4
Salt  
Black pepper  
Olive oil  

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Regular-sized cherry tomatoes may be used whole. If there are some that are big, cut in half or in quarters.
  3. Place cherry tomatoes in a small, glass baking dish.
  4. Add olive oil, garlic, salt, and black pepper.  Mix.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.
  6. When you have removed the cherry tomatoes from the oven, add fresh basil and oregano and stir until evenly distributed. Set aside.
  7. Place two eggs in a small bowl, season with salt and black pepper, and beat lightly.
  8. On medium heat, heat a little bit of olive oil (just enough to thinly coat the pan) in an 8-inch non-stick frying pan.
  9. Add the eggs and cook 2-4 minutes on each side. The crepe should be golden, cooked through, but not overcooked.
  10. Remove from heat. Stuff with one-third of the roasted cherry tomato filling and roll up until fully enclosed (just like you would a crepe).
  11. Repeat process with remaining two eggs.
  12. Spoon remaining 1/3 of roasted cherry tomato filling over both crepes allowing some to cascade over the sides.
  13. Serve with a big leafy green salad and rustic chunk of spelt bread.

Greek Salad

This is definitely one of our favourite salads! On a hot summer night, it works as a main dish. Don’t be limited by the proportions I’ve listed. It’s one of those salads that works well with more or less leafy greens. You can even omit the leafy greens altogether and concentrate entirely on the chunkier vegetables. Personally, we rather enjoy this mix of leafy greens and vegetables. 

In terms of vinaigrettes, after years of making them, I have found that the combination that works best for me is a ratio of 5:2 (oil:vinegar). Depending on the salad, type of oil and vinegar, I sometimes deviate from my standard proportions. The standard out there is usually 2:1 or 3:1. I suggest you start with the proportions listed and taste the vinaigrette before you add the leafy greens and vegetables. Then, adjust to your liking.

My rule for dressing salads is quite simple: add a little vinaigrette a bit at a time. A good way to ruin a nice salad is by over dressing. Good salads are just kissed with vinaigrettes. I sample leafy greens as I go along to ensure I have the perfect coating. 

Sandra, this one’s for you.

Serves 2 (as a main dish or 4 as a side dish)

Ingredients:

Salad:  
Mixed greens, roughly torn 2.5 oz
Boston Lettuce, leaves, roughly torn 3
Tomatoes, medium, cut into medium pieces
Cucumber, Kirby, sliced 1 (or half an English cucumber)
Kalamata olives 3 tbsp
Pepper, green, cut into medium pieces 1/2
Onion, red, thinly sliced 1/2
Feta, Greek, crumbled 1 cup
   
Vinaigrette:  
Lemon, juice 1.5 tbsp
Zest, lemon 1/2 lemon
Olive oil 5 tbsp
Garlic, clove, grated 1
Oregano, dried 3/4 tbsp
Basil, fresh, large leaves, finely chopped 4
Salt 3/8 tsp
Black pepper 1/4 tsp

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine all vinaigrette ingredients.  Mix well.
  2. In a large bowl, add all salad ingredients, except feta.
  3. Add vinaigrette to the bowl with salad vegetables.  Toss well.
  4. Top with chunks of feta or crumbled feta.

Cheese Tortellini in Brodo


Cheese tortellini in brodo always brings me back to my mother’s kitchen; one of the warmest and most welcoming places I know. It’s one of the few soups that my mother makes. I, of course, have fiddled with it, the non-recipe. My mother has no recipes. In fact, I think she is physically incapable of following a recipe. For me, that’s the sign of a good cook.

At this time of year, I normally stop making our weekly soup, but for some reason this year, I can’t seem to not include a soup on my weekly menu plan. It’s been a while since we have made this soup. When I took my first spoonful on Sunday, it brought me home. The tortellini were perfectly cooked and the specks of parsley and escarole were a pop of freshness in the mouth. They danced beautifully together.  

This is a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Olive Oil 2 tbsp
Onion, small, finely chopped 1
Vegetable Broth 6 cups
Salt 1 tsp
Black Pepper ½ tsp
Cheese Tortellini, fresh 1 lb
Escarole, thinly cut 1 cup
Parsley, finely chopped ¼ cup
Parmesan Cheese 3 tbsp

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil. 
  2. Add onion.  Cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add broth, salt and black pepper and bring to a simmer. 
  4. Add tortellini.  Cook for 12 minutes.
  5. Add escarole and parsley.  Cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and add Parmesan cheese.
  7. Serve immediately.