Chard and Snails
My breakfast. So it's happened. I'm blogging about my breakfast. I knew this was a slippery slope but had no idea I'd go down hill so fast, but in my defence there are some exonerating factors: Have I mentioned my garden? It's south facing, not huge but fertile (loads of organic manure saw to that) and since we planted it in the spring it's been chucking tomatoes and aubergines and peppers at us. Our cucumbers and courgettes were a fail, we live and learn. The lady I bought seeds from told me that it was too late (at the time) to plant chard, but I did anyway. I chose three shady spots, scattered the seeds and left them to it. The chard thrived and we have eaten it all summer. One particular spot was in the almost total shade of my robust tomato plants so that patch of chard did not flourish until now that the tomatoes have died back. This morning, upon my return from the bicycle school run I was ready for some sustenance. I picked a bunch of the chard along with a few of the die hard remaining tomatoes. They aren't so sweet as they were during the heat of the summer sun, but they are perfectly juicy and tangy next to the green chard. As usual I hung out with the garden creatures for a while. A slug was loitering among the newly emerged seedlings of rocket and spinach and I shook quite a few tiny snails off of my chard. The three that got as far as the kitchen were then rescued and liberated back to vegetation. I figure there are greens enough for all of us and besides, they too are part of our ecosystem! Having gotten quite distracted by the miraculous nature of tiny snails I was quite hungry by the time I started cooking. I washed and chopped the chard, chucked it in pan with some olive oil. After a minutes added two free range eggs, a bit of crumbly mature cheese (Tulum peyniri) and a good pinch of hot pepper flakes. And that's it - Breakfast is served. The plus side of this is that asides from giving me ridiculous amounts of satisfaction (with the garden and snails and the simple, quick prep) it is also very healthy. As someone who can't eat any form of carbohydrate or sugar before the afternoon (as many will know this can cause an energy crash, further cravings and even palpitations) I love an egg based breakfast that has a large ratio of vegetables.
If you have even a tiny space for growing something in your garden or in a pot on your balcony or terrace then give chard a chance! And just for the record: No snails were harmed in the making of this breakfast.