It’s been nearly two weeks since I planted four cantaloupe seeds. Each seed was placed in a little soil in a separate pod in an egg carton, and the carton placed on the sunny windowsill of the large kitchen window seat. This past Sunday two of the seeds, now sprouts, poked their bent over necks up out of the soil, and on Monday they raised their heads from the dirt. By Tuesday, the third sprout appeared, and on Wednesday the fourth sprout peeked out of the soil.
In the meantime, I assembled more makeshift egg carton planters, borrowed a little more soil from the outside garden, and planted the rest of the vegetables we’re starting from seed in their own pods. Outside in the raised garden planter, during a surprise appearance of cold, misty weather, we planted small starter plants of hot peppers, cucumbers, and squash beside the herbs we’d planted the weekend before. In two large separate containers, we planted heirloom tomatoes.
Without my husband’s help, the garden would not be a reality, so this week I wanted to feature his adaptation of a Spanish omelette. In Spain it’s called tortilla, a traditional egg, potato and onion dish commonly served in tapas bars and restaurants. His version is slightly lighter as he doesn’t fry the potatoes in lots of oil, and is easier in that you don’t need to master the tricky tortilla flipping technique, which takes some practice. The added flavors of cheese and vegetables make this a filling and savory breakfast staple you’ll want to fix often.
Spanish Omelette with Zucchini, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Parmesan & Goat Cheese
6 large eggs
1/2 medium-size zucchini, seeded and grated (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1-1/2 cups)
2 cups frozen packaged hash-brown style white potatoes
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1-1/2 oz. goat cheese, separated into several small pieces
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
10″ cast-iron skillet or other 10″ oven-proof non-stick skillet
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Crack eggs into large bowl. Add 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper to eggs. Whisk together until well-mixed. Set aside. Microwave potatoes on high, for about 2 minutes, until well-thawed. Set aside.
Heat skillet over medium-low heat, and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add diced onions and sauté slowly until translucent, being careful not to brown. Add diced sun-dried tomatoes and cook about 2 minutes to soften. Add grated zucchini and cook another 2 minutes to soften. Add thawed potatoes and cook another 2 minutes. Drizzle with another tablespoon of olive oil and add remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Stir so everything is mixed together evenly.
Add sautéed mixture to whisked eggs in bowl. Eggs should just cover the mixture-if not, add more eggs as needed. Add 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese and stir to incorporate. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes. Wipe any residue from skillet with a paper towel.
Heat 10″ cast-iron skillet to med-high. Test to see if skillet is ready before adding the egg mixture by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If the drops skitter across the pan and then evaporate, the skillet should be ready. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to skillet, swirling to completely coat the bottom and warm the oil.
Pour egg mixture into skillet, spreading it so it is even. Turn heat to medium-low. Add pieces of goat cheese randomly over top of mixture, pushing pieces down into mixture to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until you see eggs beginning to set (the top of the omelette should still be fairly liquid when shaken). Don’t leave for too long on the heat, as you don’t want to overbrown the bottom of the omelette.
Once omelette has begun to set, sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese evenly over the omelette, and put the skillet with the omelette onto middle rack in oven. Bake for about 5 to 10 minutes or until top of omelette is no longer liquid when shaken.
After eggs have set, turn oven setting to broil and watch carefully until surface of omelette turns golden and is slightly bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before handling.
Once omelette has cooled slightly, use a spatula to loosen the sides of the omelette from the skillet, and slide onto a large plate to serve. Cut into 8 wedges.
Makes 8 servings.