Strapatsada is a delicious meal made with beaten eggs cooked in a tomato sauce, olive oil, and a touch of garlic and oregano. It’s served with pieces of feta cheese. As simple as that.
Can ingredients get any tastier and healthier? Can a dish get any easier to prepare?
It’s satisfying as a morning brunch, enjoyable as quick lunch or more fulfilling for a family dinner with olives, bread, cheese, and a mixed salad of lettuce, rocket and coriander. And the fragrance of cooking sweet ripe tomatoes with beaten eggs, oregano and feint garlic is a memorable one.
If you have no fresh tomatoes then you can use tinned ones. My grandmother loved this dish. She did not scramble the eggs in the tomato sauce for herself but put them whole instead in order to dip her bread in the egg yolk. That may not technically be ‘strapatsada’, but the idea is the same – which is the use of tomato sauce.
‘Strapatsada’ originates in the Greek Ionian Island of Corfu. If you’re curious about the origins of the name, I can certainly tell you that most Greeks don’t even know where the name came from…
It turns out that the Italian word for scrambled is ‘strapazzate’. Researchers have claimed that the first people who used tomatoes in their cooking were Jews (Edda Servi Machlin), and that a tomato sauce in Venice was called "sauce Jewish Style" (Claudia Roden).
Adding to the above, it is has been said that the Venetian Jews brought the dish to the Jews in Corfu and Thessaloniki. The Ionian islands, Corfu included, were under the Venetian rule from 1401 to 1797. So somewhere in that long history, our ancestors learnt the simple recipe and passed it down through the generations!
1/4 cup olive oil
2 big red soft ripe tomatoes or 4 medium (or 1 tin tomatoes)
3 - 4 eggs
2 cloves crushed garlic
Salt and pepper
- Grate the ripe tomatoes leaving the skin behind.
- Place the grated tomatoes, olive oil and garlic in the frying pan.
- Bring to the boil.
- Cook to reduce on a low heat. (You want most of the liquid to evaporate but to leave enough so when scrambled eggs are cooked they are left moist too.)
- Add the scrambled eggs, oregano, salt and pepper and mix while the mixture cooks.
- OR make space in the sauce, crack the eggs into the pan, cover and cook until the egg whites are cooked and the yellow yolks are still soft and juicy.
- Crumble feta cheese all over or serve with slices of feta cheese on the side of the plate.
- Serve with toasted bread, a salad or with sliced tomatoes.
- When cooking the strapatsada you can add other ingredients too like green peppers, onions, pieces of feta cheese or other cheeses or even pieces of sausage.
- You can add a cinnamon stick instead of oregano.
- You can serve your scrambled egg strapatsada on toasted bread or inside pitta bread and eat as a snack or on a pic-nic. It's just as delicious cold.