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A late-winter omelette. February 28, 2010

Posted by ourfriendben in gardening, homesteading, recipes, wit and wisdom.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Silence Dogood here. As the snows drag on (and on) here, I’ve been thinking about late-winter foods that might still be in your larder and garden.

Here in Pennsylvania, you’re not going to be outside harvesting abundant crops, or even salad greens, in late February. But you might find, like we have, that if you grew kale, parsley, and Swiss chard in a protected place and kept it out of harm’s way, it might survive the winter and allow you to harvest a little now and then. (But bear in mind that it’s not going to put on new growth until true spring, so what you harvest won’t be replaced for a good while.)

If you were diligent about curing your potatoes, onions, and garlic, and merely brushed the excess dirt off rather than succumbing to temptation and washing them before storage, then put them in a cool, dark place, you should have plenty of good ones left if you’ve managed not to eat them all by now. Carrots and winter radishes store best in the fridge or in containers of cold, damp sand or a more modern equivalent, like excelsior; apples will keep for months in the fridge, as will cabbage. And if you grew beans for drying—pintos, limas, black beans, etc.—and corn for popping, you’ll also have those in reserve. (Obviously, any produce you canned, pickled, froze, dried, or jellied will still be at your disposal, too.)

What about other fresh produce? It’s easy to grow your own nutritious microgreens, aka sprouts, in the comfort of your own kitchen, no matter how cold and miserable it is outside. Alfalfa sprouts are still probably the best known, but spicy radish sprouts can add a flavor kick to winter dishes. And you can buy inoculated logs and grow all kinds of mushrooms indoors (we’re trying to grow shiitakes in the laundry room as I write).

Our friend Ben and I live out in rural farm country, so we have access to fresh local dairy products, including raw milk, butter, and Amish cheeses, and eggs throughout the winter. (We give our own chickens a break every winter so they can stay healthy and keep all those nutrients for themselves.) Yes, we’re so lucky.

So, thinking of a filling and satisfying late-winter dish, I at first considered sharing a stir-fry recipe, but ultimately opted for an omelette, since today’s Sunday and an omelette makes such a satisfying brunch. (Mind you, so do huevos rancheros, but that’s another post for another day.) I’ll add my recipe for fried apples, another late-winter staple, since they’re so good with the omelette. You’re on your own as far as making toast, biscuits, cornbread, English muffins, or apple, bran, corn, or pumpkin muffins to enjoy with your omelette and fried apples. (Or try hot slices of my pumpkin bread with butter, yum; search our blog for pumpkin bread to find the recipe.)

         Late-Winter Omelette

This omelette feeds two; multiply the ingredients and make additional omelettes for a larger family.

4 eggs, beaten

1/2 stick salted butter

1 large baking potato, peeled and grated

1/2 large sweet onion (Vidalia, WallaWalla, or 1015 type), peeled and diced

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup radish sprouts (optional)

dried rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano, for seasoning

Trocomare or salt (we like RealSalt) and crushed red pepper, black pepper, or paprika, to taste

1/2 cup (or more to taste) shredded Parmesan, Swiss, sharp white Cheddar, or cheese of your choice

Melt butter in a heavy Dutch oven or pan. Add onion, spices and herbs, grated potato, and mushrooms, and saute until onion clarifies and mushrooms cook down. Add radish sprouts. Pour beaten egg mixture over veggies, stirring to blend. Once egg mixture sets, cut omelette in half and use a spatula to flip each half over in pan. (If you’re really good, you can simply filp the entire omelette in the pan, but I’m not that coordinated. This works fine.) Top each half with shredded cheese. Once cheese melts, place one half on each plate with fried apples and bread of your choice.

               Fried Apples

Such a simple recipe, and so good! Again, this recipe serves two, so multiply to suit your family. And Health Police, don’t panic; we’re not really talking about frying here, it’s more about sauteeing. But it’s so good.

2 firm-fleshed apples, such as ‘Granny Smith’, cored and sliced

1/2 stick salted butter

1/2 cup maple syrup or 1/2 cup dark brown sugar plus 1/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, if desired

In a heavy frying pan, melt the butter. Add the maple syrup or brown sugar and water and cinnamon. Add water as needed to make a thick but liquid coating. Add sliced apples, and stir until coated, then cook over low heat, covered, until just tender.  

Yum, it’s almost 10 am here, and that means brunch! If you have your own brunch favorites to contribute, please share them here. Otherwise, give these a try. They’re easy and oh so good as winter keeps telling us—liar!!!—that spring will never come.

         ‘Til next time,




1. deb - March 1, 2010

My boys will love those fried apples. Thanks

My pleasure!

2. Jen - March 1, 2010

I have a ton of bruised up apples that the kids have rejected cause they aren’t pretty anymore. This is a perfect way to use them!
We’re also starting some radishes and greens this week in our school greenhouse — won’t be long now!

I’m jealous, Jen! Maybe I should be doing that in my greenhouse, too!!!

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