Tomato Toasts with Scrambled Eggs, Herbs & Olives
I find the charred bread from the griddle pan important to give a smoky flavour, but feel free simply to toast the bread under the grill. The tomatoes take no time just to heat through - don't overcook them, otherwise the skins loosen and that's not what you want. I prefer my scrambled eggs to have a bit of texture, but if you prefer a uniform creamy texture, you could make them in a bain-marie.
3 short French sticks, each halved lengthways
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
750g ripe tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste with a few sea salt crystals
1 tsp pul biber red pepper flakes or freshly ground black pepper
8 medium eggs
8 oregano or marjoram sprigs, some in flower if possible, leaves and flowers removed
18 black olives, sliced off the stones in slivers
freshly ground black pepper
small pinch of sea salt crystals
Heat a ridged griddle pan over a high heat and toast the bread on the cut sides. Generously rub the toasted sides with the whole garlic cloves right to the edges of the bread and spoon over the extra virgin olive oil.
Halve, core and roughly chop the tomatoes, then drain through a colander set over a bowl (keep the juice to drink). Once they are well drained, put 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and the garlic in a frying pan and set over a high heat. As soon the garlic sizzles, stir and quickly add the tomatoes so the garlic doesn't brown; cook for 3 minutes without stirring just to heat through rather than break them down. Mix in the red pepper flakes or black pepper.
Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a bowl, break up with a fork and mix in a small pinch of salt. When the tomatoes are ready, make the scramble. Heat a large pan (preferably non-stick) over a low-medium heat and add the rest of the oil. Pour in the eggs and stir constantly over a low heat using a wooden spoon to scrape the cooked egg into the runny mixture from the bottom of the pan and around the edges as it sets. Continue to stir into wet curds for about 2 minutes or until the mixture is as you like a scramble to be.
Chop half the oregano or marjoram and fold into the tomato mixture. Very lightly fold the scramble through the tomato mixture and spoon it onto the toasts. Scatter with the olive slivers and the rest of the oregano or marjoram leaves (and flowers if you have them). Spoon over more extra virgin olive oil to serve.
Extracted from Cracked by Linda Tubby (Kyle Books, approx €20). Photography by Ali Allen.