Menemen (Turkish Scrambled Eggs)

This Turkish comfort food is like the Middle Eastern version of a breakfast burrito. Scrambled eggs are softly cooked with peppers, tomatoes, harissa, and plenty of olive oil. Serve in warm pita with string cheese and cucumbers for a surprisingly easy (and cheap!) breakfast or brunch.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Menemen

1 cubanelle pepper, or pepper of your choice, mild or spicy

1 green bell pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

kosher salt

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon harissa, can be found online or at Middle Eastern specialty stores

1/2 teaspoon Maras or Aleppo pepper, can be found online or at Middle Eastern specialty stores

3 scallions

2 large beefsteak tomatoes

8 large eggs

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Garnish

2 Persian cucumbers or half an English cucumber

12 ounces Armenian string cheese, can be found online or at Middle Eastern specialty stores

4 pitas, microwave for 10 seconds to warm

Directions

  1. Sauce: Roughly chop the peppers by slicing off the tops, then cut strips lengthwise around the core. Dice strips, discarding the core with some of the rib and most of the seeds. Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add peppers, a pinch of salt, tomato paste, harissa, Maras (or Aleppo) pepper, and sauté until soft, 3–4 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the scallions and add to the peppers when they're soft, after about 3 minutes.
  2. Halve tomatoes crosswise and pull out some of the seeds. Put a box grater in a bowl and grate the tomatoes over the largest holes until all that's left is the flattened tomato skin. Stir grated tomatoes into the peppers along with the remaining tablespoon of oil and simmer until the tomatoes are cooked and the sauce is thickened, 3–4 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
  3. Eggs: Whisk eggs with a pinch of salt. Set aside. Stir parsley and remaining tablespoon of butter into the pepper-tomato mixture. Slowly pour in the eggs, stopping and stirring in 4 additions. The eggs will scramble right away but also make the sauce creamy. Stir until eggs are still slightly runny but set, 1–2 minutes. Turn off heat and let rest (eggs will continue cooking) while you prepare the garnish.
  4. Assembly: Thinly slice cucumbers on a mandoline. Set aside. Untwist string cheese, pulling it apart into thin strands. Set aside. Spoon eggs evenly into pita bread. Garnish with string cheese and cucumbers (or leave on the side) and enjoy like a breakfast burrito.