The past few weeks have been un-seasonably warm in New York. In my experience of mid-March in the city, New Yorkers are eagerly anticipating warm weather, but usually have a long, cold and rainy road ahead. March 20, the first day of spring, is also my birthday. For as long as I can remember, I always have some spring time outfit planned to wear out to dinner, and almost always have to resort to plan B: jeans and winter coat – because it’s too cold.
Not this year. March has brought 75 degree days, evenings that feel like late June and vibrantly blooming cherry blossoms that are in their full effect several weeks early.
At the market, evidence of this early spring is not as obvious. We’ve waited a while to see any spring onions (one of my favorites), broccoli rabe and spring garlic. Every day that I go to the market for work, I search out these and other signs of spring but haven’t seen many. It seems the food haven’t caught up with the flowers.
Despite this lack of greenery at the market, I have still been in the mood for lighter springtime fare. This week we made a simple spring breakfast of perfectly cooked eggs with garlic shallots, spring onions and mushroom stew. To go with it, lightly toasted ciabatta dusted with Parmesan. Mushrooms and eggs are a fantastic breakfast combination, and the sharp onions and garlic make it a spicy spring treat.
(Makes 2 Egg and Mushroom Plates)
For the Mushroom Confit:
10 shiitake mushrooms, caps and stems separated
3 cloves garlic
2 cups olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp black peppercorns
Handful spring onion stems
- Place all ingredients in a small saucepot.
- Cook on lowest possible heat for 45 minutes to an hour until mushrooms are soft and oil is infused with mushrooms and aromatics.
For the Stew:
1 package maitake mushrooms
8 cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
Spring onion bulbs and greens, diced
Garlic shallots, diced
- Heat a pan on high heat and coat with oil until nearly smoking.
- Toss in mushrooms and season well.
- Add spring onions and garlic shallots. Cook for 1 more minute until a fond begins to form. Deglaze with sherry and cook until soft.
For the Scrambled Eggs:
4 whole eggs, beaten
2 tbsp spring onion bulbs, minced
2 tbsp garlic shallots, minced
Spring onion greens
Shiitake mushroom confit, diced
- Heat a small sauté pan on very low heat.
- Add 1 ½ tbsp butter to the pan and heat until just melted. Add the spring onions and shallots, and cook s lowly until softened.
- Add the beaten eggs, oregano and diced shiitakes. Cook low and slow while whisking, never letting the eggs stick to the pan.
- Scramble eggs gently until just cooked through. Serve with toast and mushroom stew.
Serve eggs and stew with toast as a sandwich, or in egg shell as a composed dish.
© 2012 Jonathan Meter and Jessica Hertle