Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Eggs in Heaven

Uova in Purgatorio con Bietole & Olive
Eggs in Purgatory with Swiss Chard & Olives

Must it be expensive, exclusive, complicated or refined to be delicious? You betcha bottom dollar it doesn't! It can be cheap and cheerful, simple, but special all the same... as you can see here!

Basic, everyday ingredients, simple preparation, all in one saucepan... what more could you want for a wonderful weekday supper?

Eggs in purgatory is an old classic of Italian cuisine- a simple dish of eggs, poached in tomato sauce, to be enjoyed with chunk of bread, a spoon... and a smile!

But with a couple of added extras, you will be smiling more as you spoon it up... and then dip your bread in the sauce!

Ok- let me describe my ingredients like this... being as chard plants are pretty varied in size- and I couldn't stand the thought of having people start weighing the ingredients for this kind of dish! You will need a couple of handfuls of chard per person, 2 eggs, 7-8 cherry tomatoes, 1 small onion, 7-8 olives, 1 tablespoon of tomato purée, a little fresh parsley, dried oregano, salt, pepper, nutmeg and olive oil. Which will make a MORE than adequate, full meal for a grown man. Or 2 appetizers. Or lunch... because this tastes divine at any time!

Rich tomato sauce with succulent chard and savory olives... together with that creamy, mild egg... grab your bread and get dipping! 

But before you can do that of course- you need to get cooking! So let me show you how!

Start off by frying the onion, the parsley stalks and the olives in a little olive oil until the onion becomes translucent.

Add the freshly washed and still moist chard, cut into bite-sized pieces, stir through, pop on the lid and allow to steam and wilt and begin cooking for 3-4 minutes.

Next, add the halved cherry tomatoes, the tomato purée, season with salt and pepper and grate generously with nutmeg. Stir-fry together for 3-4 minutes, until everything is nicely coated with the tomato purée.

Now add a good pinch of dried oregano and enough boiling water to cover everything. Bring to the boil, stir through well and then reduced to a gentle simmer. Return the lid and allow to bubble away for a further 10 minutes.

Check to make sure that you have enough liquid at this point, for the eggs to poach properly and top up with a little more water if necessary- and if it looks too thin, of course you can always had more tomato purée.

Crack the eggs gently into the sauce and allow to simmer on gently until the eggs set- this will take a little longer than you may think- in my case, it took between 10-15 minutes... but hey! That's enough time to set the table, cut some bread and pour some wine!

And as soon as that egg is set and the whites are no longer transparent... you are ready to serve and to enjoy!

Add a little salt and pepper to the egg, a sprinkle of parsley for color- grab yourself a spoon and some crunchy bread and enjoy! Another peasant meal that's fit for a king! 
Or for me! smile emoticon And you!

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