Today marks the anniversary of Margaret Preston's birth on 29 April, 1875. Margaret was an Australian modernist artist. She worked in many different mediums in a career that spanned Europe as well as Australia, but is most famous for her beautiful paintings and wood block prints.
Her art evolved in style over the years, but she always favoured still life as the subject matter of her paintings. I first came to know of Margaret's work through a joint exhibition of her work with that of Grace Cossington-Smith in Brisbane in the late 1990s. At that stage of my life, I thought it was the done thing for a young educated woman to visit the art gallery. The work of both Margaret and Grace delighted me, but I found Margaret's work particularly striking. I loved it so much that I bought a print of one of Margaret's still lifes and had it framed for my mother, and it still hangs in her kitchen.
Margaret also championed various aspects of domestic arts, including interior decorating and cooking. I was delighted to find a book called Margaret Preston - Recipes for Food and Art late last year, which I have been slowly reading before bed over the last few months. That book, as suggested by the title, is a biography of Margaret Preston that not only discusses her life and art, but also contains numerous recipes from Margaret's own recipe books.
To mark the anniversary of Margaret's birth, I decided to make a recipe from one of Margaret's recipe books. I wanted to make something that I had all the ingredients to hand (as winter is nearing and it was cold and dark by the time I started cooking), and which was practical in that I could eat it all without needing to have someone share it with me.
I decided on Margaret's recipe for Egg Tomatoes. The title of the recipe might not sound inspirational, but the end result surprised me at how tasty it was. I had indulged in some rich food with friends earlier in the day, so an Egg Tomato was just the nutritious, light supper that I needed. Even better, you can make it easily for one, two or however many people you need to - you just have to have one egg and one tomato each.
1 ripe tomato
1 teaspoon seasoned breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Cut the top off the tomato, and scoop out the flesh. Pour out the excess moisture, and sprinkle with salt.
Place the teaspoon of breadcrumbs in the base of the tomato, then crack the egg on top. Season with salt and pepper, place on an oven tray, then bake in the pre-heated oven until the egg is set (mine took around 40 minutes). Eat and enjoy!