For all my distaste of touristy activities, I love culinary travel! Living in the melting pot that is the United States certainly is helpful in terms of getting access to all kinds of delicious "exotic" ingredients. For this event, I was inspired by a huge (and hugely satisfying) breakfast platter that I recently enjoyed at a tiny restaurant called Coffee Oasis right here in our neighborhood.
The star of the plate is an omelet, bursting with the fresh flavors of onion and parsley. Instead of the usual toast, this omelet is served with wedges of freshly-baked pita bread. What makes the platter so enjoyable are all the fixins' that go into it: first, a handful of salty, savory olives. Next, a mound of simple mixed salad that adds color and crunch, an finally, a small dollop of thick strained yogurt known as labneh (strained thick yogurt...resembles the chakka (Marathi word) that we use to make shrikhand). This adds a cool and creamy contrast to the rest of the dishes. This is my attempt to recreate that breakfast platter...
Parsley- Red Onion Omelet
For each person, you need...
2 large eggs
2 heaped T minced red onion
2 heaped T minced parsley
Method: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and beat together until fluffy. Add salt to taste and generous amounts of freshly ground pepper. Make omelets! (Sounds silly, but it has taken me several years to learn how to make decent omelets. Look at videos and websites to learn how. Or watch some of Julia Child's cooking shows...she makes the most amazing omelets, IMHO).
1. Whole-wheat pita: This was my very first attempt at making pita, and I used this beautifully detailed recipe from Jugalbandi. I used all white whole-wheat flour for the recipe, and only 2 tsp yeast (which was more than enough in this warm weather). For a first attempt, they turned out pretty good! I'm looking forward to making more.
2. Olives: You can get quite fancy here, but I used my staple bottled Kalamata olives. If you have access to a good store or deli with an olive bar, a bowl of mixed marinated olives would be excellent here.
3. Mixed salad: Slices of ripe tomato, peeled cucumber and red onion all tossed together with lemon juice and a dash of salt.
4. Greek yogurt: I served Fage 2% yogurt as an easy alternative to home-made labneh.
Simply arrange all of the components on a platter and serve. The beautiful platter that I served this brunch on was a loving and entirely unexpected wedding gift last year from sweet Stephanie.
For delicious brunch ideas from all over the world, check out Glenna's globe-trotting round-up.