A while ago I was looking for a hotel for a few nights. As I was reading the reviews left by travellers, I noticed a strange trend. It appeared that European breakfast was something of a turn-off for many visitors from overseas. Australians complained about lack of baked beans and sausage, Asians were surprised no hot soup was served for breakfast and Americans were dissatisfied with the choice of cereals.
I was quite surprised by these negative reactions, since I usually find breakfast in European hotels quite OK. Apparently, the hotels in Europe cater to the European taste, and baked beans are not a part of it, unless you’re in the UK. Which raises the question whether the UK is a part of Europe, but that’s a topic for a different post. Outside hotels though the European breakfast menu varies greatly. In some countries breakfast can be as simple as a coffee and a croissant (France) or as plain as four shots of Rakia (the traditional breakfast in rural parts of the Balkan). Elsewhere on the continent, breakfast menus can be quite elaborated, especially in Germany.
At home, I prefer to keep my breakfasts simple. Usually I start my weekdays with a bowl of boiled oats with some (dried) fruit or muesli with yoghurt – fast, healthy, nutritious. On weekends, on the other hand, I have more time in the morning to treat myself, for example, to a well-filled farmer’s omelet:
Ingredients* (per person):
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 of a bell pepper
- 1 celery stick
- 1 shallot
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tbsp of parsley
- Cheese, rasped or sliced
- Black pepper
- A bit of milk
*Usually I mix in whatever vegetables I have left in house by the end of the week. Potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, courgettes, anything goes, as long the pan doesn’t get overcrowded.
Chop the shallot and vegetables, not too finely. Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the chopped shallot for 2 minutes. Add crushed garlic and fry slightly before adding the bell pepper and celery. While the vegetables are simmering, whisk the eggs with a bit of milk, black pepper and (again, chopped) parsley. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables, shake the pan a bit allowing the egg mixture to reach underneath the vegetables and cover. Once the eggs are cooked, turn off the heat, put the cheese on top and cover the omelet until the cheese melts. The farmer’s omelet combines best with good solid sourdough bread, but white buns work fine for me as well. Have a nice weekend!