As soon as our basil is big enough to pick, we have a special, annual, seasonal treat for breakfast: basil, garlic and Parmesan with eggs. I met up with this combination years and years ago at a little breakfast place. The cook called it Italian Eggs.

Actually we had it the other evening on toast with a green salad for a fine light supper. Breakfast often works perfectly well for supper as I suppose some of you may already have figured out. Jamie said, “Couldn’t you use this recipe for Tastebuds?” and I thought, well, it is more of an idea than a recipe, but sure, I could.

The operating principle here is the combination of a fragrant herb, something aromatic like onion, pepper or celery, and an agreeable cheese to sprinkle on the top. So a little bit of cilantro, a piece of hot chili pepper finely chopped and a grating of jack cheese might make it a Tex-Mex egg. Chervil or tarragon, plus minced shallots, and a bit of grated gruyere cheese might make you think of France or Switzerland. .

There are no tricks with this except to use fresh basil and fresh garlic as opposed to dried basil and powdered garlic. It is summer and fresh herbs are pretty easy to get if you don’t grow them.


Savory Breakfast Eggs

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

A few leaves basil or other fresh herb

A little minced garlic or shallots or pepper

2 eggs

Parmesan cheese or cheese of your choice

Melt the butter in a frying pan with the olive oil over a low heat. Lay the basil leaves in the pan, and add the minced garlic, heating them until you can smell them and the herbs are wilted. Break the eggs on top of the herbs, grated some Parmesan on top, and put a lid on the pan. Cook over a low heat until the whites are set. Alternatively run the eggs under the broiler briefly to cook the eggs and melt the cheese.

Send queries or answers to Sandy Oliver, 1061 Main Road, Islesboro 04848. E-mail: For recipes, tell us where they came from. List ingredients, specify number of servings and do not abbreviate measurements. Include name, address and daytime phone number.

Sandy Oliver, Taste Buds

Sandy Oliver, Taste Buds

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working...