Monday Market Meals - Silver Beet Omelette

Monday, July 4, 2016

A colorful array of greens and vegetables from the garden.

It's Monday, and I'm kicking off Monday Market Meals with a guest post from fellow blogger, Shaheen Hughes from Perth, in western Australia.  While it's summer in North Carolina, it is winter in Australia, so read on to find what's growing seasonally in Shaheen's part of the world.

My absolute favorite thing to do on a Monday morning, in the luxurious calm of the post-school drop-off, is to visit my mum for a quiet cup of tea and a stroll in her incredible garden.  We catch up on the weekend’s news and gossip, and fill baskets with some of the amazing things she grows: lemons and limes, oranges, cumquats, pomegranates, drumsticks, java plum, guava, curry leaves, ginger, turmeric, chillies, coriander, holy basil, basil, mint, silverbeet, mallow.

We’re both obsessed with good food, and far from the country we were born we cook together to remember, the recipes of my grandparents, my aunties, the stories of long ago and far away.  The soil may be different here, but food grows abundant when it is fertilized with love.  Together we’ll also venture out to the local Asian farmers market, another of our favorite places: to inhale the fragrant aroma of the freshest produce, to watch with joy the customers of every nationality – Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Thai, Italian, Greek, Australian, pick and choose from a rainbow array of fruit and vegetables. 

Silver beet 

 You can buy everything at this crazy little market: Chinese greens of every variety, snake beans, bitter gourd, green mangoes, coconuts, sugarcane, tamarind, turmeric flowers, okra, peppers, chillies, herbs, custard apples, banana leaves.  I never tire of imagining the beautiful dishes people are going to cook with the bounty from their shopping baskets.

Once or twice a month mum and I invite people to cook with us at our Bombay Cook Club.  The lexicon of Indian cuisine is one of the oldest in the world and we want to keep it alive, to share the way we were taught to cook with fresh seasonal food, to use spices for their medicinal benefits and to create complex flavors without artificial additives. 

Omelet preparations. 

"As the last of a long line of women who cooked the most delicious meals and fed the people they loved around large tables in warm kitchens, I feel both the privilege and the responsibility of keeping their art alive." 

As the last of a long line of women who cooked the most delicious meals, fed the people they loved around large tables in warm kitchens, I feel both the privilege and the responsibility of keeping their art alive, honoring and celebrating my ancestresses.  I’m never alone when I cook:  I hear them whisper ingredients, recipes and stories as I stir my pot and I am proud to pay the love of ages forward. 

An omelette filled with the season's garden offerings.

This simple omelette is a great way to use up garden and market greens… you can use whatever you have on hand depending on the season.  At the moment, it’s winter in Perth and we are overrun with silver beet.  There’s nothing nicer than going out to the garden to pick the fresh leaves.

To serve two people generously, you will need:

6 eggs
a large handful of silver beet, the young tender leaves are best
a handful of garden herbs: I’ve used garlic chives here.. basil and coriander are also good
a quarter of a red onion
1 or 2 chillies, depending on taste and completely optional
1 clove of garlic, crushed
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
a handful of your favourite cheese, grated

Chop your greens, herbs, onions and chilli as finely as possible.

I’ve used young silver beet from the garden and both the leaves and stalks are delicious.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large heavy frying pan and fry the onion, garlic, chillies, greens and herbs for a few minutes until soft.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, add salt and pepper to taste and a bit of milk or cream as you prefer.  Stir in the fried veggies and return the mixture to the pan.  Cook for a few minutes on very low heat until the bottom of the omelette starts to set.  Scatter a generous handful of grated cheese over the top of the omelette, which should still be runny, and place pan in the oven or under a hot grill until the omelette is golden brown and bubbling.

Slide omelette out of pan or eat straight from it… serve with a fresh green salad and crusty bread.

You can pretty much adjust the flavours in this omelette to your own tastes.  To spice it up, you can fry a teaspoon of cumin seeds in the oil before you add the onions and garlic, or a little bit of turmeric.  You can also add a finely chopped tomato to the sautéing veg for extra flavour, or a bit of ham or bacon.

Photos and blog post courtesy of Shaheen Hughes, author of the blog Spice Mama. You may also find Shaheen on Instagram @ilovespicemama.

No comments:

Post a Comment