Menemen - Eggs, Tomatoes and Peppers
A lovely dish with a marvellous name and just perfect for summer. It’s fast and easy to prepare and extremely nutritious. It’s a favourite for breakfasts in Turkey, but it also goes down scrummily well as a bright and tasty lunch or a quick supper. If you have it at a Turkish restaurant it comes served in individual metal dishes, sizzling furiously and nicely firmed around the edges of the pan whilst tender and deliciously moist in the middle. I’m getting hungry just writing this!
NB. Make sure you use sweet tasty tomatoes and good quality eggs.
Ingredients (serves 4):
6 medium/large tomatoes, peeled and chopped into small chunks
6 long green peppers cut into small chunks (our host uses one or two sliced blazingly hot green chilli peppers as well, but bravery is required for this version). Bell peppers can be used if you can’t find long slender ones.
2 finely sliced white onions
Half a cup of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Beat the eggs in a bowl and add a little salt and pepper
Warm the olive oil in a large pan, then lightly fry the onions and peppers without browning. After about 2 minutes add the chopped tomatoes. Cook the mixture until all the veggies are really nice and soft (around 7-8 minutes), and the juice has been reduced by about half.
Pour on the eggs and stir continually until it begins to firm. At this point, you can become adventurous and extend the boundaries of ‘menemen’ by adding some extra exotica (see below) should you wish. The resulting masterpiece should be firm and juicy, not dry.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately with fresh bread – the ideal accompaniment to mop it up.
Menemen is such a wonderful base dish, you can add in all manner of things to take the flavour in a variety of directions. It may upset the purists, but feel free to ignore them and mix things up a little. To play with the dish’s texture and taste, you could add any of the below:
Some flat leaf parsley, coriander, oregano, feta cheese, and some meaty stuff such as sucuk (Turkish sausage), pastrami, salami, parma ham.