Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Mid-Eastern Breakfast Platter

This is my entry for Weekend Breakfast Blogging, a monthly event showcasing my favorite meal of the day! WBB is the brainchild of Nandita from Saffron Trail. This month, WBB is being hosted by Glenna of A Fridge Full of Food. Glenna wants us to explore the world from our own kitchens; her theme is : Ethnic Dishes with a Twist, challenging us to "make a dish from a culture, country, or ethnicity other than your own".

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

pitabreakfast
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).

Fixings:
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.

34 comments:

  1. What a splendid breakfast! I had never thought of pita and labneh for breakfast but why ever not?!

    ReplyDelete
  2. wish there was someone to cook this for me. wish there was someone i could cook this for. oh well. time to go out and take a long walk and enjoy the beautiful day.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a wonderful and hearty weekend breakfast. Omlette in a pita is a great meal idea for my five yr old. My fave mid eastern food is the shawarma which is like the gyro. Thanks for the yummy post!

    Regards,
    Namita.

    ReplyDelete
  4. that platter is drop-dead gorgeous, and so is the food in it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. There is a Mediterranean cafe by my house which serves amazing breakfast platters...they add feta cheese to the omelet, which also tastes really g8!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Perfect breakfast for me. I love the Fage yogurt, even the 0% type tastes wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think I am game for eggs in omlet if its a platter like that!

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a sumptuous breakfast, Nupur!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nupur you've made me hungry for breakfast and it is 8.48 p.m. here :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nice recipe Nupur. I have to try this with dried parsley. Thanks for the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Lovely spread Nupur. Feel like having it. Viji

    ReplyDelete
  12. looks delightful and am sure it tasted just that!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anita, I had the same notion- pita and labneh for breakfast? But then, it is the same as eating bread and yogurt :) Glad you like it!

    Radman, cheer up and enjoy your Sunday!

    Namita, yes, omelet in pita pocket would be easy to hold in little hands and bite into. No chance of the filling slipping from the bottom!

    Bee, I have to work on my pita puff rate though ;)

    Dhana, feta is a great idea. I don't like feta at all, but V will love this variation!

    Kalyn, I'm wishing I had bought the 0%! I don't buy Fage very often because it is on the expensive side...

    Coffee, :D

    Musical, yes, this is a royal way to start the day :)

    Cynthia, the truth is, this would make a delicious dinner too! I love breakfast for dinner.

    Roopa, thanks!

    Madhuli, fresh herbs really make this omelet special. You know what would be delicious...a combination of coriander and mint!

    Viji, come on over and have a bite!

    Arundati, it was very filling and special indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Nupur, this looks great. Simple yet so full of incredible flavors!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Nupur,
    I having mailed you something for your CK project.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Nupur
    This platter is looking amazing.... YUM!....

    ReplyDelete
  17. This breakfast is nice and different. I don't eat eggs so I may substitute it with falafel in the form of cutlets. Making omelet is faster but :p
    BTW I made falafel with your recipe it turned out grand :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. lovely spread of dishes for breakfast!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Nupur I love omelets ,I love red onions and I love parsley. So I am in love with this creation. Though I think I'll buy the whole wheat pita. By baking skills are a bit rusty right now. Thanks for a great recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Meeta, that is exactly how it was...simple and tasty!

    TBC, got the mail! Thank you soo much :)

    Sukanya, thanks!

    Archana, so glad you liked the falafel recipe! Yes, falafel balls would work out great in this platter. Mid-Eastern cuisine has so many delicious dishes that don't have eggs...and one could assemble a platter with any of them.

    Roopa, glad you like it!

    Anupama, buying pita is what I do normally too :) this time, I was feeling a little ambitious, hence the home-made pita :D

    ReplyDelete
  21. Nice recipe of omelet with a twist, of course! That breakfast platter looks so healthy with whole wheat pitas..thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  22. that platter looks yum. I can settle down with that omlete. nice and filling.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Nupur what a breakfast !!! Would go on to make a heavy brunch.

    Both me & D love omlettes and the double-egg omlettes are the best but because of his cholesterol I do not put 2 eggs into the omlette any more :(

    ReplyDelete
  24. Nupur,

    what a beautiful feast, boy home made pita bread thats a task. looks delicious.

    Might be a dumb question but is Fage a brand or a type of yogurt,never heard of this

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh, I love this idea, Nupur! I'm a huge fan of omelettes, and with the thick yogurt and pita bread, it's even more satisfying and healthy.

    ReplyDelete
  26. That looks delicious Nupur..:)
    me back after a long break..looking forward to many more exotic flavors..

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi Nupur,

    I just stopped by to give you a present. A little surpise for you awaits here:

    http://www.burntmouth.com/2007/08/wedding-engagement-and-more-blogging.html

    Go get em, girl ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Great spread there Nupur. The omlettes are perfect.

    I wanted to say what a wonderful idea you have with the Campus Kitchen idea booklet - I will definitely think of something suitable. It really is wonderful that you are volunteering at their kitchen. Kudos to you.

    ReplyDelete
  29. i too made something for this event :) have to post soon. lovely recipe :) difficult to get pita bread here, though.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hi Nupur ,
    I have a surprise for you on my blog:

    http://foodcourt.wordpress.com/2007/08/22/surprise-from-sweden/

    I hope you accept it!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Padma, glad you like it!

    Sharmi, thanks :)

    Sandeepa, how about 1 whole egg and one egg whits, as a compromise? The restaurant that serves this makes a *three*-egg omelet :0 but 2 eggs at a time is my limit!

    Sreelu, to tell you the truth, it was no more work than making rotis! Just that you add yeast to the dough, and bake them instead of cooking in a tawa.

    Susan, this was very satisfying indeed!

    Vani, nice to see you again :)

    Zlamushka, that is so sweet of you!

    Laavanya, thanks so much!

    Nags, if you can find some yeast, pitas are really easy to make at home.

    Madhuli, thank you my dear!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Nupur, I have been going through your recipes for the last couple of months and must say, that I am very impressed..

    I make pita and labneh sandwhiches for breakfast and they turn out amazing.. Just spread a generous layer of labneh, top it with cucumber,tomatoes, olives, mint leaves and some pickled turnips. Roll it and wrap it and its an amazing combo even on the go. And on days, when i don't have pita bread in stock, I just use Wholemeal bread..

    ReplyDelete
  33. Barkha, your idea is just delicious! I'm going to be making it often, because I love a savory breakfast. Will look for pickled turnips at the International market.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to say hello!