Avga me domates (pronounced: ahv-GAH meh doh-MAH-tes) is a classic Greek dish where eggs (avga) are cooked in fresh tomatoes (domates). Summertime and tomatoes are synonymous in Greek households, where tomatoes are eaten practically every day while they are in season. Avga me domates is a perfect celebration of summertime tomatoes, where they are cooked just enough to bring out their flavor without losing their classic fresh taste.
This recipe is revered by my mother-in-law Roula. Every time we eat this meal together she is transported back to her childhood in Chania, Crete from memories of her father Stefano. She tells me of how they ate avga me domates together all of the time- not just because it was delicious, but because her father did not know how to cook anything else. Avga me domates was the only dish he knew how to cook.
Fresh tomatoes sauteed with onion and garlic in olive oil, a pinch of salt, a grind of black pepper- the simplicity allows the perfection of the summer ripened tomatoes to shine through. Fresh eggs get nestled into the sauce and are cooked until just set, a crumble of feta and fresh picked basil leaves top it all off. Sliced bread on the side and a glorious meal awaits you.
Every time I eat avga me domates I am reminded of how the simplest meals are often the best meals. Where the freshness and quality of the minimal ingredients used is what makes the meal so memorable. When the tomatoes are at the peak of their season, eggs are fresh from the farm, and basil is just picked from the garden. You do not have to know much about cooking to make ingredients this pure taste great.
Though my hubby never met him, Papou Stefano’s memory lives on through the impact he had on my hubby’s mother Roula. We feel her love for her father every time we eat this meal. That is testimony to the remarkable effect that food can have on our lives. Even if you do not know much about cooking, get yourself some fresh tomatoes and eggs and experience the single meal that represents Papou Stefano’s entire cooking legacy: avga me domates.
- 3 large tomatoes- chopped (about 2 cups total)
- 1/2 large yellow onion- sliced
- 1 clove of garlic- minced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- pinch of salt
- ground black pepper- to taste
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- fresh basil leaves
- Heat a medium sized saucepan over medium heat
- Add olive oil & onions- saute onions, stirring often for approximately 7-10 minutes until soft & golden
- Add minced garlic & saute for 1 minute
- Add chopped tomatoes to pan & gently stir to combine with onions & garlic
- Let tomatoes simmer for about 5 minutes, add pinch of salt & ground black pepper to taste
- Gently stir tomato sauce & cook until some of the water has evaporated, about 3 minutes more
- Make three wells in the tomato sauce, one for each egg, and crack one egg into each well
- Cover the pan & cook for about 7 minutes until eggs are just set on top
- Remove from heat, sprinkle with crumbled feta & torn basil leaves
- Serve with fresh sliced bread
This recipe serves one- it can easily be doubled or tripled depending on how many servings you need (2-3 eggs per person). Just increase your pan size to accommodate your ingredients.