Author Notes: Well, it was a long day. I didn’t sleep well last night – dreams that were a lot of work. I woke up more tired than I’d gone to bed. And, did I mention it was a long day? By the time I got home I had just enough oomph left to feed the animals, think of something very simple for dinner that might quiet the day’s jangles, then fall into bed surrounded by various of the animals.
I had eggs. I have a sweet friend who raises chickens, and she’d brought me a pastel-colored batch on Monday. Oh, the color of their yolks, and the shells are like Easter eggs right out of the chickens. I had tomatoes. I had garlic. Of course. And some cut basil and Italian parsley in a jar of water on the work table. It all added up to one of my sweetest memories. We had moved away from Piedmont, in the lovely East Bay area of San Francisco to move way north into the mountains. I’d taken the kids back down to visit for a weekend, and had met up with my friend Deb at a new little place that was reputed to be doing new things with new flavors.
This was the late 80’s, please understand. At any rate, I remember as yesterday that I had eggs scrambled over the top of some tomatoes, garlic, and whole basil leaves that had been oven-roasted to a beautiful caramelization. And some oven-roasted new potatoes. With my friend.
So alone tonight, I recreated that lovely breakfast. And the day’s jangles quieted. —boulangere
roma tomatoes, halved, 1/4″ slice
cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, thin slice
whole leaves fresh basil
kosher or sea salt
pinches Red pepper flakes
grinds fresh ground pepper
Olive oil to toss vegetables
olive oil to 1/4″ depth
2 or 3
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Get out a good oven-proof skillet. Cast iron would be perfect. Place in it tomatoes, garlic, basil, a good sprinkling of kosher or sea salt, red pepper flakes, and fresh ground pepper. Give it all a toss with some olive oil and set the skillet in the oven. Roast, stirring every 10 minutes or so until a blend of caramelized flavors permeates your kitchen when you open the oven.
- Meanwhile, pour a glass of wine. Light a candle. Or two. When the oven mixture is just right in terms of aroma and caramelized color, remove skillet from oven.
- Whisk together eggs in a bowl. Place skillet over a medium heat and pour in eggs. Stir very gently with a soft-edged wooden spoon, letting eggs rest for a few seconds now and then. When almost set, but still glistening and moist, turn this lovely mixture out onto a plate. Refill your wine glass. Sit in front of a candle and slowly eat. Let your soul be filled.
- Extinguish the candles. Grab a pet or two. Sleep well. Know you are loved.