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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Potato and silverbeet omelette (Ομελέττα με πατάτα και σέσκουλα)

These days, life is all about getting machines and software to work for you, rather than you working for them. It's all about making life easier for you to live, so that you do less work, free up your time, and have more time to do the things you want to do, rather than doing things you have to do.

A little while ago I came across this search string which landed a New Zealand searcher onto my website: 'potato and silverbeet omelette'. I don't have many recipes for silverbeet (the popular name for Swiss chard in New Zealand) in my blog, but the few that I do have seem to be among the most popular on my site* among the 'down-under' population. Google's top-ten response for this particular search string was composed of 8 sites from Australia; my site was one of the two non-Aussie sites included because it sounds like a site that originated close to 'down under' (not surprising, since I call myself a Mediterranean kiwi). Here are the first five sites listed in the search:
  1. Potato and silverbeet soup (but not omelette)
  2. Silverbeet frittata (no potato)
  3. Mushroom, bacon, and tomato omelette (provided on a page all about healthy recipes for children, and how to grow silverbeet in their school garden)
  4. All manner of silverbeet recipes (but not in the combination desired, ie silverbeet, potato and omelette)
  5. Fish with silverbeet, and another dish containing potato (which didn't include silverbeet).
There were no omelettes containing the ingredients mentioned in any of the ten sites listed. Mine came in at No. 8; it was actually a discussion of my memories of silverbeet in my parent's garden in New Zealand, and how I used silverbeet to make dolmades, a Greek specialty that is usually made with grape vine or cabbage leaves.

spinach potato omelette spinach potato omelette
Sometimes it pays to think laterally...

The combination of ingredients that was used in the search string, while not unique, is hardly a name for a well-known recipe. It sounds like the searcher needed to use up their excess supply of silverbeet, a common and very popular green in New Zealand, which grows easily, and can be treated like spinach, a more common, more popular and tastier green known worldwide by mainly the same name. Had the searcher used 'spinach' instead of 'silverbeet', they would have got a better response: 7 of the 10 recipes listed on the first google search page were for omelette recipes that contained both spinach and potato ('swiss chard and potato omelette' only produced 3 appropriate recipes).

spinach potato omelette
Although I could have made a special effort and gone to the trouble of acquiring some silverbeet from my neighbour's garden, I decided to use the spinach I had just bought. This post was inspired by a statistics counter search string that led a Kiwi to my blog.

It pays to know the similarities and equivalent alternatives these days if you're searching for a particular recipe, otherwise you may be left floundering while everyone else is enjoying their frappe coffee during their extra leisure time. I wonder if that poor Kiwi managed to find what they were looking for; hopefully, it won't have got too lost in its search for a way to use up that excess silverbeet in the garden. Silverbeetopita, anyone?

So here it is, just for those of you who couldn't think up the idea of replacing silverbeet with spinach and are still searching the web for something that doesn't 'exist': omelette with potato and silverbeet (or spinach, if you prefer; I omitted the chile bit in this recipe, as I felt it was totally unnecessary, more unnecessary dining trends, in my opinion). I'm sure the same will apply for "crispy noodle salad with silverbeet", "silverbeet salad" and any other creative recipe using that overly common green that we can't seem to use up as quickly as it grows.

*Coincidentally, one of my most popular pages is all about how to freeze eggplant!

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