Scrambled Eggs with Salsa Verde (Tomatillos)

This is one of those good-anytime dishes, breakfast through late-night. The recipe calls for tomatillos, but you can use tomatoes as well, or even combine the two. If you didn’t want to scramble the eggs, you could cover the pan and steam them, poaching them as it were, or you could fry the eggs up in another skillet and top with the salsa. Good all-round.

1 T vegetable oil or butter
6 – 7 tomatillos, husked, rinsed and chopped; or 2 – 3 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/3 – 1/2 c chopped (sweet) onion
1 fresh hot pepper, finely chopped (seeded, ribs removed if you like) or 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 T lime or lemon juice
4 – 6 eggs, beaten or not
salt and pepper, to taste
chopped fresh cilantro or other fresh herb, for garnish

1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the tomatillos, onion, hot pepper, and lime juice. Sauté, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until the tomatillos and onions have softened.

2. Either pour the beaten eggs into the pan or break the eggs into the pan. Cook, stirring gently, until the eggs are set, but still moist. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, with chopped cilantro on top.

Spinach and Onion Dutch Pancake

Dutch pancakes are usually made with apples and are primarily a breakfast treat. This is a savory version which is really good for breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner. The basic Dutch pancake recipe is a template. Any number of greens can be used, scallions or leeks instead of onions, root vegetables, whatever catches your fancy. Dutch pancakes are usually made in a cast iron skillet which can go in the oven. If you don’t have one, then use a regular skillet and transfer the cooked vegetables to a pie or cake pan, greasing it first with some extra butter or oil.

8 c or s spinach, stemmed (or not), washed, but not dried
3 T butter or oil, or a combination; plus extra if needed for greasing baking vessel
1 c chopped onion
4 large eggs
1 c milk, half-and-half, cream, or milk substitute
1 c flour
salt and pepper, to taste
(freshly grated) nutmeg, to taste
3 – 4 T grated Parmesan or other cheese (feta is good with spinach)
hot sauce and/or other condiments, to go with

1. Steam or sauté spinach (if sautéing, don’t bother to grease the skillet, the water on the leaves will provide enough lubrication) until just wilted, a minute or so. Remove from cooking vessel and let cool. Squeeze spinach dry and coarsely chop.

2. Preheat oven to 450°F. Melt butter in a cast iron skillet. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and stir to combine. Cook until heated through.

3. Meanwhile, combine eggs and milk in a blender. Whizz until combined. Add flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and blend until smooth.

4. Smooth out the onion/spinach mixture in the cast iron pan and pour the batter over all. Sprinkle with the cheese and transfer to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.

Arugula and Cheese Omelet

This is actually a bit of a cross between an omelet and a soufflé. The eggs are separated and the whites are whipped to soft peaks and added to the mixture. This addition causes the omelet to puff up some. The cheese here is variable, fontina is a excellent melting cheese. Other good melters are Gruyère, Emmental, raclette and provolone. However go with what you have on hand or prefer.  Omelets are traditionally folded in half or even thirds while on the stovetop and sometimes even flipped over in the pan and while you could do those here, you may sacrifice some of the puffiness, hence the broiling. You could also cover the pan and let the omelet steam finish. I like the broiling method because it gives the omelet a slightly crusty top.

1/4 c vegetable oil, or 2 T vegetable oil and 2 T butter; divided
4 – 5 c arugula, spinach or other green, chopped
6 eggs, separated
salt and pepper, to taste
(fresh) grated nutmeg, to taste
1 c Fontina cheese, shredded or grated; divided

1. Preheat the broiler, if using, and position a rack 6 inches from the heat source.

2. Melt 2 T of the fat in a skillet. Add the chopped arugula and sauté for a couple of minutes until wilted. (Sturdier greens will take longer to wilt and become tender.) Remove from skillet and drain. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

3. Beat the egg yolks lightly and add to greens in bowl, along with some salt, pepper, a grating of nutmeg, and a third of the cheese.

4. Whisk or beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold into greens mixtures until no streaks of white remain.

5. Heat the remaining 2 T of fat in the skillet. Scrape the contents of the bowl into the skillet. Spread evenly. Cook over medium heat until the bottom is cooked, 3 minutes or so. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and put under broiler, for another 3 minutes or so, until the cheese has melted and the top is set.

6. Slide the omelet onto a platter, and fold in half if you wish. Cut into wedges and serve.

Carrot Apple Pudding (Halwa)

Halwa, or halva, in India, is a thick, rich pudding made with vegetables and warming spices. This particular recipe uses carrots and apple. You can also use peeled, shredded winter squash in place of the carrots. The texture is somewhat like rice pudding, though not quite as creamy. To get a creamier texture, you can substitute some half and half or whole cream for some of the milk, though I think it’s quite creamy enough with whole milk. I don’t know how any non-dairy milk alternates would work here; if you make this halwa with one, let me know how it turned out, and I’ll amend the recipe.

oil, for the pot (coconut oil adds a nice accent)
1 quart (whole) milk
2 c (peeled) grated carrots or peeled, grated winter squash
1/4 c toasted, chopped almonds or other nuts
4 T (golden) raisins or other dried fruit
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground cardamom, optional
1 medium apple, quartered and cored, then grated or finely chopped
3 T sugar or other sweetener, plus extra if preferred
1/2 t vanilla or almond extract; (for authenticity, use a splash of rose water)

1. Lightly oil the bottom and sides of a large, steep-sided pot. Or, rinse the inside of the pot with cold water, drain, but do not dry. Pour milk into pot and bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. When it comes to the boil, it may start to foam and threaten to overflow the pot. If this happens, whisk it vigorously until it subsides. Lower heat and cook the milk for 10 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom and sides of the pot to incorporate any milk solids that have formed.

2. Add the carrots, almonds, raisins, and spice(s). Cook for 20 – 25 minutes, until the milk has been absorbed and the mixture is quite thick. Stir in the apple. Add the 3 T of sugar, and stir until it has dissolved. Remove from heat. Taste the halwa and add more sugar if you think it’s needed (carrot is sweeter than squash, so if you used squash, you may want a bit more sugar). Stir in the vanilla.

3. Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers, but bring to room temperature before eating.

Greens and Quinoa Egg Casserole

This casserole can literally be thrown together in a few minutes. Nothing is precooked, neither the greens nor the quinoa. All the ingredients go into the baking vessel as is–the greens are washed and chopped, and the quinoa rinsed, if necessary. This makes for a looser egg dish than most other baked egg dishes, the greens exude liquid in the casserole. Make sure the greens are quite dry, spin them in a salad spinner or dry them with a towel–you don’t need extra moisture here. I haven’t made this with other grains; I think you could use bulgur, couscous, perhaps millet, but not brown rice, unless you parboiled it first.

1 small to medium bunch greens
1/2 – 3/4 c quinoa
6 – 8 eggs
1 1/4 c milk, or milk and half-and-half
salt and pepper, to taste
1 – 2 t chili sauce; or other spice mixtures, such as curry powder
3/4 – 1 c grated or crumbled cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 8″ x 8″ baking vessel, or another, similarly sized. Set aside.

2. Wash greens. Coarsely chop and dry well. Rinse quinoa for a couple of minutes, unless the package states that the quinoa is pre-rinsed. Allow quinoa to drain for a bit.

3. Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and chili sauce. Add greens, quinoa, and cheese. Stir to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish. Cover tightly with foil.

4. Bake for 45 minutes. Take out of oven and remove foil. The center will probably still be a little jiggly. Return to oven and bake for another 15 minutes, until filling is set. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or so before serving.

Fried Brown Rice with Greens

A great way to use up leftover rice or other grain. The variations and additions to this recipe are almost limitless. Carrots, beets, turnips edamame, sweet peppers, hot peppers, and summer squash are just a few of the vegetables that come to mind. All greens, even lettuce, will work wonderfully. Just be aware of the different cooking times for vegetables–allow longer cooking vegetables the time they need. Scramble in an egg or two, or top with poached or fried egg(s). Toss in any kind of cooked protein. Different seasonings, from curry powder to herbes de Provence. This recipe can be a side or a main course; breakfast, lunch, dinner, or anytime snack. Never let it be said that you don’t know what to do with all the veggies in your share…

6 or so c thinly sliced or chopped greens
2 T vegetable oil
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
3 c or so cooked brown rice or other cooked grain
1 T soy sauce or 1 t salt, or to taste
(fresh) ground black pepper, to taste

1. Steam, if necessary, or not, sliced or chopped greens until just tender. Kale, collards, and other brassicas are candidates here, though you might want them to be barely wilted, and forgo this step.

2. Heat oil in an appropriately sized skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook until just fragrant, a minute or two. Add vegetables, if using, but not the greens, here, and cook to desired degree of tenderness. Add the (steamed) greens. Cook for a couple of minutes. Add the rice and any cooked protein as well as any seasoning(s). Stir to combine and cook for a few minutes longer, until heated through.