Summer's last embrace


In the Midwest, we're fortunate to have one exquisitely lovely week every fall. It usually occurs in mid-October. The leaves have turned and we've already experienced the season's dampness and chill. Then, the temperature shoots into the 70s, the air is clear and everyone gets one last embrace of warm weather.

During those Indian summer days I prefer a light menu that captures the season's harvest.

For an entree I often prepare piperade, a robust, delicious, French version of scrambled eggs. It has a fragrant, herbal aroma that is truly appetite-whetting. The traditional recipe uses what I consider late-summer/early fall ingredients such as tomatoes, onions and peppers, though the recipe can be adapted to use whatever is available.

Piperade makes an excellent quick lunch or dinner, but I prefer it for brunch.


Makes 2 servings.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped sweet yellow pepper

1 small tomato, cored, seeded and chopped

4 eggs

1 tablespoon water

generous -- dried marjoram

salt, freshly ground white pepper

Heat oils together in medium skillet. Add onion and yellow pepper and saute over medium heat 5 to 10 minutes or until tender. Add tomato and saute 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Beat together eggs, water, marjoram and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into skillet over vegetables. Gently scramble until cooked, but still moist. Adjust seasonings. Serve hot or tepid.

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