A few weeks ago, we were leaving our friend’s apartment and she offered us a few springs of fresh oregano from her garden. Obviously, I accepted. Ever since I started my little indoor herb garden, I am convinced that there is nothing more convenient and delicious than having whatever amount of fresh herbs that you need at the ready. I never grew oregano though. I didn’t think I would use it often enough to merit it a spot on my small herb table. I was very pleased to leave with my little gift and made sure to stick the sprigs in a small cup of water in the fridge to stay fresh while I decided what to do with it. That night, I went to the store to buy the reddest tomatoes, crispest cucumbers and the best goat’s feta (which we are now completely obsessed with) that I could find. If I didn’t live with an olive hater, I would have grabbed some of those too. With all of those lovely, summery ingredients, I made a simple Greek salad. It was so good that it has become a weekly staple for us ever since, which is saying something because that rarely happens around here.
I love going to the markets and seeing the spring and summer produce slowly appear. Every year, when summer turns to winter, I miss the abundance of fruit and vegetables that are in their prime but after a few months, it’s easy to forget what a good tomato looks like. Now that peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes are back and super cheap, I feel like my dinners would be lost without them. While there is nothing better or fresher-tasting than crunching into a whole red pepper or a lightly salted tomato sometimes it’s nice to have a warm, hearty meal. In fact, there’s nothing more satisfying than applying a little bit of heat, some herbs and spices, and coaxing the best, freshest produce into an easy, weeknight dinner in under half an hour. That’s exactly what this spring ratatouille is.
A couple of weeks ago we went to our local Asian specialty grocery store. I needed some dried mushrooms for a hot and sour soup (that ended up being one of the most disgusting things I have ever made… I was so disappointed, I don’t know what went wrong!). It was late in the day on a Sunday and I was feeling like a treat. I wandered over to the bubble tea counter and the black sesame and almond milky iced bubble tea really caught my eye. Then the dozens of giant syrup bottles behind the counter caught my eye too and I decided that I would pass on the bubble tea. I am sure I sound like a snob, but nothing beats bubble tea that actually uses fresh fruit and homemade flavourings. Either way, the flavour combination of black sesame and almond stuck in my mind and I knew that I would make my own at home when I had the chance.
As always, I bought a couple of giant sweet potatoes and waited a whole week for creativity to strike. Most of the time, I end up baking my sweet potatoes as wedges and while they are delicious, that’s not a complete meal (far from it). I wondered whether I could still get the gorgeously soft, charred, sweet potato without turning on the stove and, on top of that, get a whole meal out of it. It doesn’t hurt to dream big. I ended up thinking of a sweet potato hash. I figured that I could dice up some sweet potato and red onion, cover them in spices, cook them covered, in a super hot pan and that they would steam and brown at the same time. From there, it could become whatever I wanted. That was where this one pan sweet potato hash and eggs was born.