Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ode to the egg

It's worth returning to the egg for another examination. The marketers got it quite right when they proclaimed it not just edible but incredible so many years ago. But, recent research and the rise of both small family farms and even backyard poultry show us that the egg's place in our diet is on the rise.

The egg is the backbone of most of the tiny operations here on our island, mirroring, I suspect, the context in the surrounding Puget Sound region, although certainly not the larger breadbasket of the state, where monoculture still dominates. It is the egg, usually brown or a rainbow collection, that brings folks to the farm stands, the egg that sells out first at the farmers market. For us, it is the egg that brings people up our driveway when the stand's cooler is empty, inquiring with hope and hesitation, whether perhaps by chance are there any just boxed or lying in wait in their collection basket?

And for good reason. It's almost safe to say that there's not really any such thing as "the egg" anymore. There's growing awareness out there that the factory eggs sitting on the supercolossalwonderstore shelf are simply not the same food as the hand-washed beauties resting in a cooler at the end of your neighbor's lane. My son refuses to eat eggs in restaurants now. They are pale shadows of what he gets at home and Dylan claims they are simply taste free.

Eggs are high in protein and contain every major nutrient except vitamin C. Farm fresh eggs from free-range pastured hens not only look and taste a world away from factory eggs, they are dramatically lower in both cholesterol and fat. All this makes them just about the perfect food, and we haven't even touched on their versatility yet!

What else can you fry up for breakfast, slice onto your just-picked greens for a terrific lunch salad, whip up and bake in a crust with veggies and a little ham for dinner, then fold into flour and chocolate chips and a little (OK, a lot) sugar to munch on for a treat?

To celebrate, I think it's time for another quiche recipe, especially since the Fried Green Tomato Quiche gets so much traffic. Quiche is perfect for any meal of the day and also reheats well - so make 2!

Enjoy this one with a chilled crisp rose or Cote du Rhone and some mixed greens drizzled in herbed olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar
. The perfect meal to highlight the bounty of August ~

SSF sauteed greens and bacon quiche

Preheat the oven to 425.

Prepare your favorite pie crust or roll out a store-bought one and smooth it over a lightly oiled pie pan, crimping the edges. Bake until just lightly golden, 5-7 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Wash and cut the spine out of 1 bunch of c
hard or kale. Don't dry. Chop roughly and saute with 2 cloves chopped garlic in about 1-2 TBS olive oil until wilted, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile whisk 3 large eggs with 1/3 C whole milk or half and half - or some co
mbination thereof.

Chop 1/2 pound crispy-cooked bacon into bits.

Crumble about 1/3-1/2 C of feta cheese over the bottom of your pie crust. Sprinkle the bacon bits next. Spread the wilted greens over both, then pour in the egg mixture.

Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 and bake for another 10-15. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

From our flock to yours - enjoy!

No comments: