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Friday, December 2, 2011

The CSA Box: It's What's for Dinner

Does anyone remember those old "Beef:  It's What's for Dinner" commercials set to music from Aaron Copeland's ballet "Rodeo"?  That music has been going through my head over the last couple of days as I've been thinking about this blog entry.

This past Wednesday brought the latest CSA box, chock-full of apples and pears, along with buttercup (not sure how it differs from butternut) squash, purple-top turnips and a few other veggies.  When the box first arrives, I really do my best to cook to those ingredients and minimize the number of things coming from the store.  Some boxes lend themselves to this more than others.

Wednesday was a long day at work, with an ugly case settling practically at the door of the hearing room.  That was cause for celebration, but more importantly it meant that I didn't have a lot of energy for dinner.

David arrived home even later than I did, saw the carton of  eggs sitting on the counter and groaned.  We eat a lot of omelets in our household, and he was unexcited about eating another one.  Fortunately, I had secret ingredients.  Exhibit One:

Or, as I like to call it, the leek that ate Anchorage.  This sucker was enormous.  Exhibit Two:

Shallots (pictured here with the chopped leek).  Why doesn't everyone use them?  They have a flavor that combines onion and garlic with, as Garrison Keillor says, "special mellowing agents."  Delicious.

Exhibit Three:

When it doubt, a good bottle of wine never hurts.  This  is from Maysara, a small producer in Oregon's Willamette Valley.  It's gorgeously colored and fruity, but perfectly dry.  It tastes like summer in a bottle. 

Eggs love rosé.  I could get all wine-geeky and explain why I think that is, but I'm going to spare you.
Exhibit Four:

I forgot to take a photo, but truffle sea salt, also from the Willamette Valley, gives killer flavor and aroma to any savory dish.  It can be ordered here:

Taken together, these things take an average omelet (including one that fell apart a bit when turned over) from blah to a great weeknight dinner.  It's not original--for that I've got the next CSA box entry--but it is satisfying.

CSA Box Omelet

1 medium shallot, chopped
1 regular leek (or a portion of the above leek), white and pale green parts only, chopped
5 eggs
Generous pinches of truffle or good-quality sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper
1 tbsp. 2% milk
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. blue cheese crumbles

Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.

Preheat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.  Add a tablespoon of olive oil and then sauté the leek and shallot until light brown.  Remove the pan from the heat and scrape the leek-shallot mixture into a small bowl.

Reheat the pan over medium heat and add the other tablespoon of olive oil.  When it is warmed, swirl the oil to thoroughly coat the pan.  Add the eggs and cook, running a spatula and lifting it along the side of the skillet to loosen the omelet and swirling so that the runny egg is incorporated.  When it begins to look cooked, loosen the omelet again and flip it over with a spatula.

Spread the leek-shallot mixture over one half of the omelet, and the blue cheese crumbles on the other half.  Cook briefly and then fold the omelet over. 

Remove from heat and cut into slices.  Serves two with a side of veggies and a bottle of wine.

The omelet-flipping didn't go so well that night, though I did manage to patch it back together and tried to hide its ugliness by slicing it into wedges.


  1. I think that's a wonderful way to end a busy day! Nothing like a super-human leek and a big glass of summer-in-a-bottle to destress :)


  2. Wow! You have elevated the humble omelette into the gourmet stratosphere with the truffle salt and blue cheese. (And of course a sip of Rose never hurt!)

  3. What we do to disguise food for our blogs :) Your omelet sounds amazing...I always have shallots on hand and need to pick up a leek now and again, too. Perfect flavors with eggs...and I have some yummy truffle salt waiting for my next egg dish!

  4. We have omelets and fritattas a lot, too! So versatile. I wish I had that leek, though! And wine doesn't hurt a bit, either.

  5. My hubs would love this. He is a huge omelet fan.

  6. I love omelets and yours sounds delicious! Never tried one with leeks!

  7. I love that you use leeks for omelets! I love leeks and it's so versatile.

  8. CSA boxes sure do stir up the creative juices when they arrive. The ingredient list does look like it would make for a perfect and flavorful omelet-yum!

  9. An ugly omlette isn't a problem if it tastes good ;)! I'm sure yours was wonderful with all the ingredients you added!

  10. I love that you get creative with whatever the CSA box sends you! It's like you're a contestant on "Chopped" and have to come up with a delicious meal with whatever they give you!

  11. Daughter groans at eggs for breakfast but I love this as an alternative to a busy day. I also love your solutions to make it enticing (wine!) The leek that ate Anchorage would be welcome here. Any leftover?

  12. The omelet wedges with those greens look like a perfect meal for me. Yes, some rose please.

  13. Sounds wonderful and what a great box of goodies... we love our veggies from the garden. And we love making crustless quiche with many of them.

  14. What a great way to use all the wonderful goodies! I love my CSA, such a great variety.

  15. Aw, thanks for all the comments on a simple omelet--I really appreciate it! And I'm totally stealing the phrase "crustless quiche" for the next time David looks at me funny for making an omelet.

    @Claudia, I still have 2/3 of the leek that ate Anchorage, and it will be used for tomorrow's dinner, which is a real doozy!

  16. Nice and simple outcome, I like this so much for a light meal.

  17. I get my CSA box on Thursdays. Favorite day of the week...