Kagianas is a traditional Greek summer dish from Arcadia where poor people would eat out of the products they had at hand. Some tomatoes from their garden and eggs from their hens.
This could have been their breakfast or main meal served with some Greek salad and lots of crusty bread. Nowadays it is usually served as a side dish and is ideal to accompany BBQ and grilled meat dishes.
This dish, which at the Ionian islands is called strapatsada, took its name from the Italian verb strapazzare, which means to handle roughly (to beat). In other parts of Greece is is called Kagianas, Kaikanas or just tomatoes with eggs, as we used to call it in Cyprus.
It is best to cube the tomatoes into small pieces rather than grating or pureing in a food processor so as to have some pieces of tomatoes in the dish. After you peel them and cut them, put them in a colander with some salt sprinkled on top, so as to get some of the water out, otherwise you will be cooking it for much more time.
Fresh tomatoes are pealed easily if we score a shallow cross into the bottom of the tomato and put them in hot water for a few seconds. The skin will be removed easily.
In Cyprus my mother would make a sweet version of kaikanas which we ate as a dessert but it’s nothing like this food as it resembles more like an omelet or a crepe rather than scrambled eggs.
Kagianas or Strapatsada
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 8 medium – ripe tomatoes, peeled and cubed
- 8 eggs
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 2 basil leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- Peel tomatoes and finely cut them into small pieces. Put them in a colander with salt until most of the water is drained.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet or non-stick pan and add the tomatoes.
- Keep mixing until all juices have evaporated and it become a dense sauce.
- Add salt, pepper, basil and oregano.
- Add the eggs to the mixture and mix well until the eggs are cooked.
- Finally crumble some feta and mix.
Serve with a Greek Salad and crusty bread.
You can find many more Greek recipes in my cookbook “More Than A Greek Salad”, and “Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!” both available on all Amazon stores.
Other relevant recipes:
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,