It’s full blown Fall in much of the country, and a kind of neither-here-nor-there season in the farmers markes of Southern California. Our Autumns tend to be moderate, unsudden, and, it seems, confusingly spring-like to certain crops. Which is why I saw baby asparagus, pencil thin and not as sweet as the April stuff, at the stands. And the berries: they hang on. The raspberries and blues are still sweet. Not bursting and overripe, but better than most I had in my midwestern childhood. And then there are pea tendrils: their appearance is brief enough the first time around to warrant a second harvest pounce. Along with an 11 dollar three-pack of strawberries, raspberries, and blues, the market inspired a fine, fast Sunday lunch. I made a 5 egg high heat omelette, sauteed the pea shoots, and served the berries as a sort of dessert. They’d been mashed accidentally in transport home, thusly creating a a sort of instant three-berry jam.
High heat super fast omelette
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil for cooking, a bit more for finishing
salt and pepper
In a ten inch slant sided sturdy sautee pan (all clad masterchef was the tool here), heat the butter and oil until beyond foaming. Nutty in appearance, even. This requires constant high heat.
Beat eggs furiously, then pour into pan. If the pan’s hot enough, the omelette will souffle a bit on the edges. Let it crackle and cook for bit, then drag a spatula across the pan, tilting it to let the uncooked egg hit the clean pan. This will cook and set. Drag the spatula or spoon across again, tilting the pan. Raw egg will run and cook. The whole mess will begin to set. Do what you need to to get the cooked bit on top, and the raw on the bottom, and flip, and turn, until the whole thing is cooked through. It will be browned, and it should be unrunny, if you’re going to be safe about it. Slide out onto a big plate. Salt and pepper. Dot with goat cheese. Drizzle lightly with good olive oil. Slide into appropriate sizes and serve.
Sauteed Pea Shoots
2 bunches pea shoots, rinsed, drained, chopped into 2 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a 12 inch pan over high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add pea shoots. Sautee, stirring now and again, for 15 minutes or so, or until tender. Salt and pepper until delish. The pea shoots will throw off some water, so when it’s cooked to your liking, pluck out with tongs, and set in a dish so it’s not too soupy.
3 Berry Smash
Buy three varieties of perfectly ripe, in-season berries (strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are what we did this with). Forget that they’re at the bottom of your shopping bag. Throw various root vegetables, breads, and other heavy food stuffs on top of the berries. Walk around with the bag. Throw it into the trunk of your car. Remove the most demolished of fruit from the carton, rinse, blot dry, then eat.