Chive Blossom Omelettes

Cousin Kate asked me for my Chive Blossom Omelette recipe and so I decided to share it here. Unfortunately, our chives are done blooming for the season – and I don’t have any other herbs flowering today, so I can’t make this recipe to photograph it right now. I am borrowing a chive photo from one of my very early blog posts and giving the recipe anyhow.  I hope that this post inspires you to use some herbs from your garden.

Thank you for the prompt, Kate!

chiveblossoms

2 large eggs, beaten until frothy

about 1 1/2 teaspoons of unsalted butter

optional: a little bit of Vidalia (sweet) onion sautéed in butter

sliced Havarti cheese, torn into several pieces

pinch of garlic powder

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

about 1 tablespoon of snipped chives and parsley

about 3 chive blossoms, gently torn apart

3  whole chive blossoms for garnish

Directions

Clean the herbs and pat dry with a clean towel before starting.

Preheat a 9″-skillet over medium heat. Add about 1 1/2 teaspoons of unsalted butter to the skillet and swirl it around until the butter just barely begins to sizzle. Immediately pour the eggs in and swirl them around the bottom of the pan. Try not to let the butter or the eggs brown. Turn the heat down, if necessary, while cooking the omelette.

Spoon the onion – if using – over half of the eggs. Top with enough cheese to mostly cover half of the egg mixture. Lightly  sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and fresh ground pepper. When eggs are very nearly set, top with the fresh herbs. Slide the omelette, filled half first, out of the pan and onto a warmed plate, folding the egg side over the filled side as you remove the pan.

Garnish with little creme fraiche (crema), a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper and a few whole chive blossoms. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

The Underrated Chive

Growing and Cooking with Herbs

 

What’s For Breakfast?

Some very nice guests from Oklahoma gave me a bunch of fresh asparagus from their garden. What a treat! Now, I am trying to figure out how to incorporate it into breakfast this morning. As I write, I’m thinking that my special of the day will be Scrambled Eggs Primavera. The dish is still taking shape in my mind, but I am thinking fluffy scrambled eggs served atop a bed of baby yellow potatoes with sautéed  asparagus, Vidalia onions and cherry tomatoes, garnished with a dollop of crème fraîche and chives from my garden. I had better get back to work. It’s a good thing that everyone is have a late breakfast today! Have a wonderful weekend!

Image

Spaghetti with Asparagus & Herbs

Spaghetti with Asparagus & Herbs

This dish is designed to highlight the flavors of its fresh ingredients rather than overpowering them with heavy tastes. Serve for lunch or a light dinner with bread, fresh fruit and a light cheese. (Makes about 3 servings.)

Approximate measurements:

12 oz. spaghetti

1 lb. fresh asparagus

2 oz. extra virgin olive oil

1 oz. white balsamic vinegar

4 fresh lemons

several twists of fresh ground green and red peppercorns

1/4 t. sea salt

1/4 c. fresh golden oregano

1 T. fresh flat leaf parsley

1 1/2 t. fresh thyme

1. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of lightly salted, boiling water.

2. About half way through the cooking time for the spaghetti, put the asparagus on the stove to steam. Cook until crisp tender. Remove from pot then rinse asparagus with cold water and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, combine olive oil, vinegar, juice of 2 of the lemons, fresh ground pepper and salt. Set aside.

4. Submerge herbs in a bowl of cold water to remove any possible dirt or insects. Remove herbs and rinse well. Pat dry. Strip herb leaves from stems. Discard stems and any damaged leaves. If there are any thyme flowers, set them aside for garnish.

5. When the spaghetti is cooked to desired consistency, drain well. Add the olive oil mixture to the pot that the pasta was cooked in. Return spaghetti to the pan and toss with the olive oil mixture.

6. Divide spaghetti between serving bowls. Top with fresh herbs and then with asparagus. Squeeze a little more fresh lemon juice over asparagus and then grind a little more fresh pepper over dish. Garnish with thyme flowers if available. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Image

Image

Image

Harvesting Sage

Having noticed earlier today that my sage has started to bloom, I realized that it is time to start thinking about harvesting some herbs. It is hard to believe, given that just a few weeks ago we had snow. It is generally recommended that if one wants to cut sage for drying (or freezing) that one do so before it starts to bloom. I love to see the purple flowers, though, so I disregard that rule and instead collect some stems before they go to seed. It is best to cut them in the morning after the dew has dried but before it gets hot for the day. One should not cut more than about 1/3 of the height of the plant. Sage can be hung in bundles to dry, but I prefer to spread the leaves out on a baking sheet and dry them using the pilot lights in my ovens. 

Image

Special of the Day: Spinach Omelette with Leeks

Everyday we offer a set breakfast menu plus a daily special. Today’s special was Spinach Omelette with Leeks.

The omelettes were filled with organic baby spinach, sautéed leeks, and shredded Monterey Jack and mild Cheddar cheeses. They were seasoned with a homemade herb salt made with herbs from our garden. The fresh leeks were sautéed in extra virgin olive oil with a splash of  Sauvignon Blanc and seasoned with the herb salt. They were finished with a twist of fresh ground green, black and pink peppercorns.

At the end of the meal, there were clean plates all around. Just what I like to see!

Italian Seasonings

After yesterday’s harvesting and drying of herbs, this morning I found myself thinking about to what uses I wanted to put them. Most of them I will just store plain, but  I will probably make some seasoned salts and after breakfast I did make a batch of Italian Seasonings. (Recipe below.)  The golden oregano, thyme, rosemary and chenzo pepper were from my garden. Except for a few leaves here and there – not enough to merit drying – my basil is already gone for the season.

There are quite a few variations in recipes for Italian Seasonings. Some have majoram, parsley and/or savory. Many don’t have the hot pepper. Here is the recipe that I use.

Ingredients:

4 T. dried basil

4 T. dried oregano

1 T.  granulated garlic

1 1/2 t. dehydrated minced onion

1 1/2 t. dried thyme

1 1/2 t. dried rosemary

1/2 t. dried hot red pepper

Pulse ingredients in a small food processor until desired consistency.

As you can imagine, after producing a batch of Italian Seasonings, I had to make something Italian with it! And luckily for me, I had some fresh vegetables in the house that I needed to use. So for lunch we had polenta with romano cheese and a thick, tasty tomato-pepper sauce. Now I need a nap! Ciao!

“Refreshing Minty Lemon Limeade” and “Baked Tomatoes with Mint Cream”

Having recently written in general terms about ways to use mint – see my post Mint: It Grows Like a Weed, but That’s Okay from 5/15/12 – I thought it appropriate to offer a few more mint recipes every now and then. Both of the recipes below contain mint ingredients employed to a subtle effect. Enjoy!

 Refreshing Minty Lemon Limeade

2 1/4 c. ice water

1/2 c. fresh lemon juice

1/2 c. fresh lime juice

3/4 c. mint simple syrup, or to taste

Stir ingredients together. Chill until serving. Serve over ice.  Garnish with mint leaves, or with lemon or lime slices.

Baked Tomatoes with Mint Cream

(based on a recipe from Scottish Heritage Food and Cooking, 2005, Lorenz Books of Anness Publishing, London)

5 large ripe tomatoes

1 c. heavy cream

2 mint leaves

1 T.  mint-infused vodka

1/3 c. crumbled cheese of a good melting variety, such as Monterey Jack

salt and pepper

1. Fill a large stock pot to about half full with water then add a dash of salt and bring to a boil.

2. Meanwhile wash and core tomatoes – a grapefruit knife works well for coring – and then cut an ‘x’ into the bottom of each tomato. Carefully drop tomatoes into boiling water. When the skins start to split, transfer tomatoes to a colander and give a quick rinse with cold water. Allow to cool.

3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. While the oven is heating, place the heavy cream in a non-stick pot, add mint leaves and vodka, and allow to simmer over low to medium-low heat. Simmer until the heavy cream is reduced to about 3/4 of a  cup.

4. While the cream simmers, brush a baking dish with olive oil. Slice tomatoes and arrange them in baking dish, allowing them to overlap slightly. Strain the thickened cream over tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese and then with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve as a side dish or with a rustic bread for a small but rich meal.

Baked Tomatoes with Mint Cream