Sunday, June 22, 2014
At quarter to five or thereabouts, I give in to the rising sun and its chirping chorus and take part in the new day. I throw a sweatshirt over the tank top and pyjama pants I slept in, and head out the door. Nelly and I walk the length of our isolated, winding, rural-in-the-city road. I carry her leash in one hand, coffee in the other, waving at the occasional neighbor passing us on their way to work or the gym or wherever. This alone time is my summer salvation.
Alexi always leaves something for the boys to discover when they wake up. The morning after we watched Captain Phillips, he left our globe on the table with a note: “Can you find Somalia?” Over our eggs and toast we talked about Somalian social and economic conditions in relation to piracy; the untenable disjunction between there and here.
The last time I was at the grocery store, the cashier laughed as she looked from my boys and the extra one with us to the popsicles and gin side-by-side in my cart; she asked if I was buying sleepover supplies. I grinned sheepishly.
Our days consist of working together in the yard and around the house, playing cards, taking long walks with Nelly. Cal found a feather with a blue edge the other day. We spend extra time with friends, miss those who are away, and look forward to our own upcoming travels.
Each evening, Alexi and I sit outside until its dark.
I'm glad for it all.
I almost always cook breakfast, and the rest of the day, these days, we mostly eat raw foods. Alexi grills everything else.
I love this breakfast just as much, with a salad, for dinner.
Portugese Baked Eggs
Adapted from Bon Appetit
¼ cup olive oil
3 bell peppers, any color, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta
6 large eggs
1 cup grated sharp cheddar (about 4 oz.)
¼ cup grated Parmesan (about 1 oz.)
Toast, for serving
Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the bell peppers and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and just beginning to brown, 10–12 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano, chili powder, and paprika to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very soft and the liquid is thickened, 20–30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 400F°. Transfer the bell pepper mixture to a 13x9” baking dish. Using the back of a spoon, make 6 evenly spaced divots in the mixture. Spoon a dollop of ricotta into each divot, then crack 1 egg into each. Top with the cheddar and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Bake, rotating halfway through, until the Parmesan is melted and the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny, 15–18 minutes.
Serve with toast. The yolks will continue to cook as the dish sits, so serve right away if you prefer your eggs soft.
Yield: 4-6 servings
Bell pepper mixture can be cooked 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.