Food memories, we all have them. They are intertwined with moments of excitement, joy and sometimes sadness. For me food memories are tied to simple dishes, limited ingredients, and a lot of love and care. I can’t really tick off a list of childhood memories though I do remember being excited during the holidays to get my Aunt’s amazing baklava. She would put them in pretty, clear trays with curly ribbon. Biting down though the perfect little triangles to the combination of sticky crisp fillo, walnuts and cinnamon was delectable. All baklava for me has paled in comparison. The same for my mother’s dolmathes. Grape leaves simply stuffed with onion, rice and dill. Simmered in olive oil hers are earthy, herbaceous and addictive. I can’t remember my first date meal with my husband, but I remember clearly having a caesar salad prepared table side on our second date and char-grilled octopus on our honeymoon drizzled with olive oil and lemon. Peppers and eggs hold another fond food memory for me.
College in New York for me was a revelation. Up to that point food was simple and basic. Growing up in a middle class family in Pittsburgh, in the 60’s and 70’s. My mother was not an adventuresome cook, and even eating out was at a local diner. In my Junior year at college I roomed with an amazing young woman who came from a family of artists in the exotic locale of Brooklyn. (Well, it was for me!) Eclectic, beautiful and incredibly artistic in her own right she opened my eyes to so many beautiful things: writing, music, books and, of course, food.
You are probably thinking, “peppers and eggs?” Pedestrian, right? Imagine that college girl in the early 80’s who did eat both, separately, but never together. Strips of green bell pepper sautéed in butter until soft and tinged with brown. Then whisked eggs slowly added in a stream and scrambled. The flavor was nothing like I’d ever had. Sandwiches wrapped in paper bags we headed to the beach. While I honestly can’t remember what the bread was, or what beach we sat on, I will always remember biting into that sandwich, tasting the combination of soft buttery peppers and eggs between the soft wet bread and smelling the salty sea air. A food memory I still cherish.
As soon as I picked up my beautiful Carmen peppers at Hilltop this week I knew exactly what I was going to make. There is a lot of discussion on how to cook scrambled eggs: to add or not add milk, salt and pepper before or after, low and slow or medium heat and fast. I’m not going to suggest which is better. Scrambled eggs are one of those things that are personal. Some like them soft and a little wet, some like them dry. I’m a little in the middle. Soft and poached eggs I like oozy and wet. Scrambled a more on the medium to dry side. It’s all a personal preference.
My first version was over sautéed kale and scallions: a perfect brunch dish. I sautéed winterbor kale with a little olive oil garlic and scallion and placed on the plate, topped with a few slices of tomato. In the same pan I sautéed the peppers and then the eggs.
The salad was nice, but I really wanted to reinvent the sandwich. Give it a little “farmers market” twist. After a quick sauté of the peppers, scallion and onion I decided to add some rainbow chard. Spinach, kale or mizuna would work as well.
A few slices of my pretty market tomato and
some shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Breakfast for dinner, or as my friend’s kids say “brinner.” Made in 30 minutes and delicious. If you don’t have a Panini press simply use a non-stick pan and put a heat proof plate on top with a heavy weight. You want to achieve a nice crunch on the bread. Click this link to see my recipe for: Peppers and Eggs Sandwich.
This weekend you can find me at the Chappaqua Farmers Market on Saturday and at the Croton-on Hudson Down to Earth Market on Sunday. Stop by and pick up your eggs, peppers and bread, and have a taste of mine too.
One year ago: Sweet Frying Peppers
Two years ago: Chipotle Black Bean Burger, Small Bites Throwdown winner!