Strapatsada Greek eggs make a simple, easy to cook breakfast, brunch or lunch. Only six ingredients including the seasoning and garnish. These tasty scrambled eggs with feta and tomatoes are so popular in Crete, the home of the Mediterranean diet. But there is a secret ingredient which really brings this dish to life!
Yes, that’s right, in Crete, there is a secret ingredient, they use in every meal of the day, which is incredibly good for you. It’s one of the reasons people from Crete live to a ripe, old age, possibly the oldest in the world. The Mediterranean diet also has its roots in Crete, the largest of the Greek Islands. So, maybe we should all pay attention to the Cretan diet, including what they enjoy at breakfast time, the day’s most important meal.
Cretan breakfasts are not only healthy, but are some of the best breakfasts we have found outside of Melbourne. Our dish today is a classic way to prepare Greek eggs. Strapatsada is simply scrambled eggs with feta and tomatoes. If you are looking for feta cheese recipes to enjoy at breakfast, strapatsada ticks that box as well. But, there are plenty of other non-scrambled egg recipes for breakfast on offer in Crete, all of which we found to be healthy and tasty.
And yes, we were served strapatsada for breakfast at Kalimera Archanes Village (where the tomatoes were roasted in the oven first and then the eggs added to the same pan!) and Kapsaliana Village Hotel. We first tried this breakfast at Spiti Mas in Athens, where the waitress recommended it as a traditional breakfast specialty from Crete.
One reason for this is breakfast in Crete means eating a selection of ingredients from the Cretan diet. A Cretan breakfast doesn’t mean bacon and eggs and hash browns. For sure, there are some very commercial areas in Crete where you can enjoy bacon and eggs, but by and large the great majority of Cretan restaurants and Cretan hotels will serve a traditional, Cretan breakfast.
We really enjoyed the Cretan cuisine and they go out of their way to focus on a small number of local ingredients which can be prepared in a variety of ways. Read on to find out what some of those ingredients are.
Traditional Greek Foods and the Cretan Diet
Enjoying scrambled eggs with tomatoes and feta is a great way to begin experiencing good Cretan recipes. Strapatsada includes a number of ingredients which are important to the Cretan diet.
For example, the secret ingredient for Strapatsada, and what makes it so good, is indeed the olive oil. For the reason why, refer to the Strapatsada Greek Eggs Section below.
But other star ingredients of the Cretan cuisine include the cheeses. Although we use feta in Strapatsada, there are a host of other, delicious and healthy cheeses from Crete. Add to that the healthy salt, organic herbs (which just grow in the wild) tomatoes, honey, eggs, bread (including the ubiquitous rusks) and legumes and you have the basis for a very, healthy diet. And, of course, let’s not forget about the yogurt.
As well, wine consumption is high in Crete and is generally enjoyed at both lunch and dinner. Note, consuming wine at lunch and dinner with both family and friends is a social norm in Crete. No doubt, the wine aids good conversation and relaxation. Indeed, it is considered poor form in Crete to drink alone.
Organic and free-range principles are held high in Crete. This includes the goat and lamb, you may enjoy while visiting the island. Cretan cuisine is all very simple. You won’t find too many complex dishes, it’s all about the great tasting ingredients speaking for themselves.
Traditional Crete Breakfasts
Enjoying strapatsada Greek eggs, was a highlight of our visit to Crete, but there were many other fabulous options available.
If you are looking for a break from scrambled eggs with feta, you could certainly enjoy some cold options. For example, platters of cold meats, various cheeses including feta, gruyere, semi-hard kefalotyri cheese, goat cheese, fresh and dry whey cheeses were all delightful.
And, you will find dakos everywhere. It’s simply a Cretan barley rusk (hardened bread) topped with tomato, olive oil and fresh whey cheese. Simple but delicious and just full of flavor.
Yogurt is another common ingredient to enjoy at a Cretan breakfast. I think most people are aware of how good Greek yogurt is. A simple treat is to just drizzle some honey over the top of a big dollop of yogurt with muesli and fruit underneath.
But today, it’s all about the scrambled eggs with feta and tomatoes.
Strapatsada Greek Eggs
The secret ingredient for strapatsada Greek eggs is indeed the olive oil. But the real secret is the quantity of olive oil they use to cook the strapatsada.
I have to be truthful and admit I use olive oil sparingly when cooking, believing less is more when it comes to your body. I cringe when I watch famous chefs on television using copious amounts of olive oil in the cooking process. But in Crete they take olive oil to a whole new level! In the Cretan diet, it is very common for people to drink olive oil, usually at breakfast time. I’m talking about a half glass or so of straight, “unfiltered” fresh olive oil.
I’m not for a moment suggesting you take up this practice as many countries ban “unfiltered” olive oil, so you can’t even buy it. My point is, they use a lot of olive oil, either consumed straight or used very liberally in the cooking process.
I am using more olive oil in than I would normally use cooking this strapatsada. And, the result? Creamy perfection with fluffy eggs and to die for tomatoes.
Our scrambled eggs with tomatoes recipe calls for cherry tomatoes. By all means, you can use standard, vine-ripened tomatoes in this dish, I just think cherry tomatoes have a stronger taste. The quantity of cherry tomatoes we use in this dish is another difference you may notice in this Greek eggs dish. As you can see in the nearby photos, there are a lot of tomatoes! And, being gently cooked in the olive oil for about 15 minutes or so, they take up all the flavor of the olive oil.
I hope you enjoy strapatsada as much as we did. It still amazes me how great the flavor is from just a few ingredients. But then, that is the key to Cretan cuisine!
Looking for Some More Egg Breakfasts from Around the World?
There are many fabulous egg breakfasts around the world. If you are looking to put some variety in your life, here are a few breakfasts featuring eggs from around the world:
Popping a poached egg on top of Swiss potato rosti, makes a very gourmet brunch. These grated potato cakes are a highlight and a good one for involving your children.