They say necessity is the mother of invention. That may be true, but I’m inclined to believe that laziness is just as powerful a motivator. Take the inventor of the wheel. Nobody needs a wheel. Oh no. No, I’m betting that the wheel was invented by some paleolithic paragon of laziness, who was so idle that they couldn’t even be bothered to carry things around with their own two hands and decided to seek out a better way. Ditto Archimedes, who so could-not-be-bothered to transport water around that he invented an ingenious and very elaborate screw to do the job for him instead. No wonder he went around shouting ‘Eureka!’. That is the exclamation of a man who has spent his life not wanting to do things, and coming up with inventions so he doesn’t ever have to.
That’s what I think anyway. And the reason that I am sharing these pearls of wisdom with you is because I’m quite keen to convince you that being lazy is something noble and profound. You see, I’m about to share a story about my own laziness, and without that preamble I’d fear you would think I was just… well, just plain lazy.
But now you know what good company I’m in (*nervous cough*), I’m ready to confess. Yesterday, I accidentally got very, very hungry (like tunnel vision hungry), and I decided to make an emergency omelette. But… (here comes the confession) I discovered I was actually too lazy to beat the eggs to make said omelette. I just couldn’t countenance the thought of all those extra seconds of preparation time, the added washing up, the extremely mild physical effort. To put it plainly, I just couldn’t be bothered.
I realise that this is a rather shameful confession from someone who professes to love cooking, but I plead clemency. I was really, really hungry. Possibly even hangry, if that’s a thing.
So I decided to make my omelette anyway, and figured I’d just throw the eggs in whole afterwards, cook them by grilling them or something, and then eat my shameful concoction under a blanket somewhere and pretend it never happened.
And actually, that is exactly what I did.
But as the tunnel vision receded and I started to be able to enjoy my creation, I realised that I’d actually stumbled upon something rather good. It wasn’t just a shabby lazy person’s omelette. It was something altogether new. And I liked it.
So much so, that I made it again for lunch today. And this time, I decided to cast aside yesterday’s shame and rebrand my laziness as invention. Instead of ‘shameful desperation lunch’, I’ve renamed it Moroccan Baked Eggs. And one day I may pretend it’s the pinnacle of fine taste, a deconstructed frittata, perfect for sharing with over a lazy brunch. But for today, I’ll let you in on my secret… and admit that the very best thing about this recipe is that is even simpler and faster to make than an omelette, requires less washing up, and on a rainy day, when you’re really really hungry, you can eat it solo, under a blanket, straight from the pan. Go on, I won’t judge you…
- 4 eggs
- ½ aubergine
- 8 mushrooms
- 2 red peppers
- 2 mild chili peppers
- 3 large spring onions
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- 2 regular tomatoes
- Small bunch parsley
- 2 heaped tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil, for frying
- In an oven proof frying pan, heat the oil over a medium heat.
- Finely slice the spring onions, mushrooms and chilies (I leave the seeds in, you can choose depending on how spicy you want the dish to be) and add to the frying pan. Cook until the mushrooms are beginning to soften and the spring onion are translucent.
- Dice the aubergine, red peppers, and both types of tomato, and add to the frying pan. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the aubergines and red peppers are cooked, and the tomatoes have begun to break down.
- Add the paprika and salt and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Break the eggs on to the surface of the vegetables, then take the frying pan off the hob and place under a hot grill. Cook until the eggs are set but still runny.
- Chop the parsley finely, scatter over the top of the baked eggs and serve.