It is Easter soon and the Danes will be eating lots of eggs. As far back as heathen time, the egg has been a symbol of fertility and the coming of Spring. When Europe became Christian, eggs became a symbol of Easter and the resurrection of Jesus. In the past, Christians gave up eating eggs for Lent (40 days before Easter when it was the custom to give up different types of food) people didn’t eat eggs. The hens kept laying them. Not wanting to throw the eggs away, they hard-boiled them and decorated them. This helped to preserve them longer. They were then served as part of the Easter festivities when people could again eat eggs. The tradition of finding eggs or small presents hidden in the garden is more than 300 years old.
This year Easter starts on Maundy Thursday, the 13th of April when most of the people in Denmark don’t have to work and children have at that time already have been enjoying Easter vacation starting on the Monday before. The next day, Good Friday is also a holiday. Most of the stores in Denmark are closed on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday as well as Easter Sunday and the Monday following Easter. Saturday the stores open again for just one day and it seems like all the people in Denmark make a mad dash to the stores to shop for more food as if there has been a famine in Denmark. After stocking up on more food and drinks, the next day, Easter Sunday, is again a free day and many have invited family and friends to an Easter lunch or Easter dinner on Sunday or Monday, the second Easter day. We have three holiday days and many will be taking both Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Easter Sunday free from work to be with their children or just to enjoy the Spring.
Having more time, the Danes enjoy a nice, long breakfast or brunch. Here is a nice omelet with tomatoes, cheese and arugula. The Danes have been importing arugula since the 1990’s and it is quite popular. When the Danish Prince married the Danish Princess, Margrethe, in 1968, Prince Henrik, a Frenchman, bought arugula with him and only in the early 1990’s did the Danes begin to import it.
Open-face Omelet with Tomatoes, Revet Havarti* and Arugula Serves 4
8 tbsp. milk
salt and pepper
butter for frying
2 tomatoes, cut in slices
a small bunch of arugula (rocket), tossed in a little olive oil and sea salt
To make the omelet, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a bowl. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat and pour egg mixture into the pan. As the eggs begin to cook, place sliced tomato on top and sprinkle with revet havarti. Continue to cook 5-6 minutes until the eggs are firm and bottom and sides are browned.
To serve, place the arugula in the centre of the omelet and serve the omelet direct from the pan. .
*Havarti is a well-known Danish cheese but other cheese can be used, Emmenthal, Mozzarella or whatever melts and tastes good.