Every spring I have watched Dad march out to the veg patch and plant all sorts. His hard work is normally met with moans of “We don’t like those types of beans!”or “Why didn’t you grow the blue potatoes instead of the boring ones?”. He puts up with a lot. A few years ago, however, I got my hands on a seed catalogue and proceeded to spend a small fortune on the most elaborate varieties of carrots, radishes, peas, courgettes, gourds and leaves going. Needless to say, it wasn’t the most successful planting year in terms of produce. An unsheltered Scottish climate does not provide the perfect conditions for candy beetroot, it would seem. The most (only) successful veg I chose that year was rainbow chard, a hardy and reliable plant that can tolerate our atrocious summers. I love chard for the meatiness it brings to a dish and it is wonderfully versatile, taking on different flavours such as citrus and spice. It is paired best with fresh herbs, however, and I love this simple and speedy way of preparing it. If you can’t find chard, cavolo nero or curly kale will work well. This is a great dish for communal eating – simply plonk the pan in the middle of the table and let people use big hunks of buttered toast to eat it with.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF), Gas Mark 6.
Strip the leaves from the chard stems and set aside. Roughly chop the coloured stems into 2cm (¾ inch) lengths.
Heat a good glug of olive oil and the butter in an ovenproof frying pan. Add the chard stems and sliced shallots and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until softened and beginning to colour. Add the nutmeg and season lightly.
Add the marjoram leaves to the pan along with the chard leaves (you
many need to tear those up a little). Stir everything together. Crack the eggs directly on top of the greens, then crumble the feta all over.
Transfer the frying pan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. You want the egg whites to have set but the yolks to remain runny.
Sprinkle the Parmesan over the contents of the frying pan and add
some chopped herbs just before serving.