This past Sunday, Cornelius and I, along with a couple of friends, went on a bike ride to Burnaby which is the city right next to Vancouver. It’s all nicely connected along the Central Valley Greenway trail, much of it off road or on quiet ones, so it made for a lovely ride on a hot summer day. We arrived at Deer Lake, our destination where we walked around the lake trail and found ourselves a nice little picnic spot under a shade tree. It hit me that this was my first picnic of the year. In our panniers we packed a gigantic focaccia deli sandwich split 4 ways from La Grotta Del Formaggio, cold beers and a ritter sport bar for extra energy. It wasn’t a fancy picnic but it was perfect. It was also a reminder that OMG August is here and summer better not slip away! I haven’t even gone camping yet which seems crazy. So I’m vowing to have more picnics, more bike rides, more hikes in cool forests, and a jump in a lake would be nice too.
This here, this bright yolk, isn’t picnic food. At least, it wasn’t a part of mine & due to its delicate nature, it’s probably best eaten at your kitchen table or a few feet outside your back door. I made this recently because I was spending another glorious summer morning working. Instead of going to an office, though, I work from home. So it was easy to say “enough is enough, time for brunch”. Why relegate brunch to lazy weekends? What about when you’ve already downed 2 cups of coffee and it’s not quite noon yet and you’re starving. That was me.
And this was my solution. A very delicious brunch solution.
I didn’t have anything planned, but it was easy enough to throw together with what already existed in the fridge. Whole wheat pitas. Fresh local basil from the market. A nub of havarti that I grated until it was gone. An egg with an amazingly bright yolk. You might consider it bad form to turn on the oven in the middle of summer, but it’s only the broiler which takes no time at all to heat up, plus I had the fan going. About 6 minutes later, my weekday brunch was ready.
Contrary to popular opinion, I suggest a light hand with the cheese. Not too much is my motto here. You don’t want things too gooey – the yolk will provide a nice slick ooze that is utterly delightful, so you don’t want a thick layer of cheese messing things up. Just trust me here. Or find out for yourself because I’m sure this is something that you’ll turn to again and again when you’re jonesing for a quick breakfast. A fast lunch. A lazy dinner. Or you know, a fancy brunch.
Don’t forget a splash of hot sauce! Walk away from your computer, find a shady spot on your balcony/yard/patio and it’s almost like you’ve got a brunch-time picnic going on. And on a Wednesday even. Summer is still here, take advantage!
egg pita pizza
I think spinach would do fine if you don’t have basil, but keep it simple. Maybe a scattering of chives. And please do keep a light hand with the cheese, trust me, it’s better that way.
1 whole wheat pita
handful of grated havarti cheese (or whatever good melting cheese you’ve got hanging around)
1 organic free-run egg
6 fresh basil leaves, torn
kosher salt & aleppo pepper
your favourite hot sauce (for this, it’s Frank’s Red Hot all the way)
Place pita on a baking sheet, if your pita is slightly bowl shaped, make sure the bowl faces up as you want an edge to hold in the egg. Sprinkle pita with grated cheese. Crack an egg and gently plop it into the middle of your pita. Scatter basil over top and sprinkle with salt & aleppo pepper. Pop into the top rack of your oven right under the broiler. Or if you’ve got an old gas oven, you know where your broiler is (if you don’t, it’s that thing that looks like a bottom drawer). Bake for about 5-7 minutes. Egg yolk should be runny. Eat and repeat as necessary.