Thursday, January 27, 2011

Breakfast of champions- for dinner! *Repost*

This summer I joined a CSA for the first time. "CSA" stands for "Community Supported Agriculture;" it involves paying a lump sum to your local farm prior to the season, and they then provide you with a "share" (a box of assorted produce, and possibly flowers and/or eggs) each week throughout the summer. It can be a little risky, as the farm cannot guarantee successful harvests, but I thought I'd try it out, as I had recently discovered that I have a local organic farm that offers this option. Well, I've started getting my shares, and I've been really pleased! I decided to split the share with a dear friend, because the boyfriend and I didn't want to risk having to eat ten pounds of heirloom tomatoes every week; seems like it was a good move.

The first box was zucchini, yellow squash, Yukon Gold new potatoes, sweet onions, cucumbers, a bag of herbs, and a bag of squash blossoms. I'd never heard of squash blossoms as an ingredient; the farmer suggested cooking them with eggs, so I figured an omelette dinner would be a great way to incorporate all of my spoils into one meal.

*A word about eggs- I believe it is important to have high quality eggs. When I get them from the store, I always choose organic eggs and I prefer to get local pastured eggs when they're available. The local chickens roam around on grass, as nature intended, and their eggs are cheap to boot! They often cost half as much as the organic grocery store eggs (or if you're as lucky as me, you have a friend with hens!)

Contrary to popular belief, the terms "cage free" and "free range" are not synonymous with "pastured." Cage free hens, while not confined to cramped, filthy cages, are likely confined to a cramped, filthy henhouse and do not get fresh air and sunlight. Good eggs come from happy chickens! Here's Mark Sisson's Egg Purchasing Guide- he breaks down all the labels; it can be a bit confusing.

Squash Blossom Omelette with Home Fries and Salad

2 tablespoons butter (I like Kerrygold cultured butter)
3 eggs, scrambled with a tablespoon of cold water
3 squash blossoms; 2 chopped, 1 left whole
1/4 cup each jullienned zucchini, yellow squash, and chopped onion
1 tablespoon feta cheese

Home Fries
2-3 yukon gold new potatoes, chopped small (about 1 cup)
Fat of Choice (FOC) for frying- I used grapeseed when I originally made this, but now recommend some ghee or quality lard
Salad with Green Vinaigrette
2 cups torn romaine
a few slices of tomatoes, cucumbers, onion
feta cheese, to taste
8 genoa basil leaves
a few sprigs of fennel leaf
1 leaf anise hyssop
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 TBS raw apple cider vinegar
2 tsp honey
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper

-Start with the potatoes; they take a long time! Add about 1/3 cup of oil to the pan, and heat to medium-high (or medium if your stove runs hot like mine). Add your taters. Stir them every couple of minutes, and cook until they are golden brown, then drain on paper towels and season to taste. This will probably take about 25 minutes (speed up the process by nuking them for a few minutes first).
-I threw together the salad next, set aside in the fridge
-Make the dressing: blend together herbs, mustard, vinegar, honey, oil, salt and pepper (I used my trusty Smart Stick) I had never made a dressing from scratch with fresh herbs, and it was WONDERFUL. The next day at work I snacked on cucumbers dipped in this stuff.
-While the potatoes are almost done cooking, start the omelette. Sautée the veggies in butter for a couple minutes, then add the chopped squash blossoms and cook for a minute more. Set the filling aside.
-Add a little more butter to the pan to melt, then pour in your eggs (take a few minutes to really whip the eggs well; it'll make for a nicer texture)
-Stir the eggs gently, moving the cooked bits from the edges toward the center.
-Once things look pretty solid, but the eggs are still a little runny on top, add your filling and feta cheese.
-Fold the omelette as best you can; I just folded it into thirds, and flipped it seam-side down.
-Open third blossom, and lay down in the pan to cook for a minute, just until it gets wilty.
-Transfer omelette to your plate, and lay the third blossom on top so it looks pretty :)
-Top your salad and potatoes with Green Vinaigrette, and revel in the seasonal goodness!

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