Monday, January 9, 2012

Dark Days 6: Tzaitziki Eggs

Gardens help us cultivate the idea of "Waste not, Want not" -

We can save seeds from one year to the next.
We can use mulch to save water and hours of weeding effort.
We can convert leaves, spent vines and other yard waste into compost.
We can give the unwanted caterpillars, slugs and kitchen scraps to the chickens.
We can collect used egg cartons and put new eggs in them to store, sell or share.

One of these things is not like the others.
I'm trying to bring that frugal ethic indoors this winter - specifically, to address the issue of food waste.

Like pinatas, New Year's resolutions are only made to be broken. So, this is more of an exercise than a resolution - just a thing to start doing and keep doing. In the summer, I typically end up cramming vegetables in every available cubic inch, so in winter, I certainly appreciate a clean and organized fridge.

I'm a pretty horrible housekeeper, so I can't give you much guidance on how to clean and organize your fridge, or create a weekly menu plan and matching shopping list. One thing that I do know --- if you do not eat your leftovers, the storage containers will start multiplying... rapidly...

To use up a bunch of odds and ends, I cobbled together a nice little dinner. I call this very successful experiment in leftovers... Tzaitziki Eggs!

Tzaitziki Eggs
Butter for the pan
A handful of minced onion
A few eggs
A sprinkle or two of feta cheese (I love feta with eggs - it's great.)
Tzaitziki sauce
-- Melt the butter, cook up the onion and add the eggs and cheese. Scramble this all together.
-- Scrape out onto a plate and top with tzaitziki sauce.
-- Finish with a few grinds of pepper. Taste this before you add salt, as feta can be quite salty.

Amazingly, I had minced onion, 4 eggs separated and chilling in little Pyrex dishes, leftover feta, and leftover tzaitziki. This required no cracking of eggs, no knife or cutting board - just a cast iron pan and a few grinds of pepper.

This is one of those dishes that you shouldn't knock until you try it - I am definitely going to make this again. This is definitely the lowliest of the low in terms of cuisine, but I believe you could transform this idea into a tasty Greek-style frittata for a classy Sunday brunch.

In case you do not have Tzaitziki Sauce lounging on the second shelf of your refrigerator, you can make this really fast. I call this recipe the Winter Version because true tzaitziki contains cucumbers - but  it's going to be six months before I see a local cucumber.

Tzaitziki Sauce (Winter Version)
1 cup of Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt drained in cheesecloth)
1 large clove of finely minced garlic
1 heaping tablespoon dried parsley
1 heaping tablespoon dried dill
-- Combine all ingredients; adjust seasonings to taste. Let sit for a few hours or a few days in the fridge to develop flavor.

Sources cited:
Butter and Greek yogurt - Cabot Creamery, VT
Onion and garlic - Spring Ledge Farm, New London, NH
Eggs, parsley and dill - my gardens and henhouse
Feta cheese - the grocery store (so probably the cheese is from Wisconsin)

In terms of local-sourcing this time around, I did pretty well - every thing was local except the feta. I have not found a reasonably-priced locally-produced feta cheese in the food stores that I frequent. Sounds like I need to research this more to track down some feta.


  1. Brookford Farm sells Feta! They will be at the Tilton Farmers Market!

    1. Thanks, Ryan - I'll keep an eye out for this.