Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Turkish Scrambled Eggs with Tomato

LESLIE: I found this recipe through the New York Times food newsletter, one of my favorite sources, and we served it for Sunday brunch on the back deck when an old friend of Mr. Right's visited. It was truly delicious.

The original was created by Joan Nathan, who calls it Menemen, and describes it as “a distinctly Turkish breakfast comfort food. Although a year-round dish, it is especially pleasing in the summer, with really ripe tomatoes from the garden or farmer’s market.” Personally, I think that if you’re a person who finds breakfast for dinner the ultimate comfort food, you will love this dish. 
I’ve modified both the ingredients list and the instructions a bit. If you’re not a purist, shallots would be a great substitute for the white onion. I’ve left Nathan’s list of pepper options because each will give a different flavor. We used Anaheim, because that’s readily available here. I used fresh tomatoes, a mix from our garden and our friend’s; Nathan says to peel them, but I’m rarely that dedicated, and I don’t think it made any difference. I’d love to top the dish with a bit of crumbled feta, but the idea gave our friend hives, so I skipped that. Nathan suggests serving with a warm flatbread; I’d grill it brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with Syrian za’atar, because I’m obsessed with za’atar’s flavors, but our friend had brought a loaf of Dave’s Killer Bread, so as you’ll see in the photo, we simply toasted slices of seed bread. 

Do follow Nathan’s advice to cook slowly once you add the eggs, stirring occasionally; you want the eggs to “form billowy puffs.” 

Because – “billowy puffs.” What’s not to love? 

Turkish Scrambled Eggs with Tomato 

4  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1  medium white onion (about 10 ounces), peeled and diced
½  teaspoon dried oregano, plus more as needed
¼  teaspoon Aleppo pepper, plus more as needed
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 mild but flavorful long green pepper (such as Turkish carliston, Hungarian banana or Anaheim), stemmed, halved lengthwise, seeded, then diced
1 cup chopped fresh tomato (about 8 ounces) or canned diced tomatoes with juices
4  large eggs
¼  cup chopped fresh parsley, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
1  tablespoon unsalted butter 

Heat the oil in a nonstick medium skillet over medium-high. Add the onion, oregano and Aleppo pepper, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in the green pepper and cook until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

While the onions and peppers are cooking, purée half the tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl, add the puréed tomatoes and whisk until foamy.

When the onions and peppers are soft, add the remaining chopped tomatoes to the pan and heat. Add the 1/4 cup parsley and butter. Reduce heat to low, add the egg mixture on top and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggs are set but still soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Taste, adding a little more salt, oregano or Aleppo pepper, if needed. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and serve directly from the skillet. 

Serves 4. 

From the cover of CHAI ANOTHER DAY, Spice Shop Mystery #4 (Seventh St. Books): 

 Seattle Spice Shop owner Pepper Reece probes murder while juggling a troubled employee, her mother's house hunt, and a fisherman who's set his hook for her.

As owner of the Spice Shop in Seattle's famed Pike Place Market, Pepper Reece is always on the go. Between conjuring up new spice blends and serving iced spice tea to customers looking to beat the summer heat, she finally takes a break for a massage. But the Zen moment is shattered when she overhears an argument in her friend Aimee's vintage home decor shop that ends in murder. 

Wracked by guilt over her failure to intervene, Pepper investigates, only to discover a web of deadly connections that could ensnare a friend - and Pepper herself.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries, and the winner of Agatha Awards in three categories. Death al Dente, the first Food Lovers' Village Mystery, won Best First Novel in 2013, following her 2011 win in Best Nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story, and is now nominated for a Macavity award; read it on her website. A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. I'm with you--bring on the feta cheese!

    1. Love the tang and bite! But when a guest expresses a like or dislike, I do try to pay attention!