Category Archives: eggs & breakfast

Deviled Eggs and Popovers, Bread Pudding and Frittata Recipes–Happy Easter Eggs!

 deviled eggs

With hundreds of chickens (how many exactly, we’re not sure, as witnessed by a heated argument last night about this statistic), Easter eggs take on kind of a special importance around here. I started my day off washing eggs, and Roy will wash more when he gets home. The farm stand will be busy all weekend, with lots of seasonal residents on Island and, of course, eggs on everyone’s mind.

So since we’re busy here today, I am doing a quick round-up of some of my favorite egg recipes on, and also giving you, right here, our farm recipe for deviled eggs, which happens to feature a yummy spinach-basil pesto recipe. (Recipe is from Fresh From the Farm: A Year of Recipes and Stories.) I hope you have a joyful—and delicious—Easter weekend. (And, oh, we have somewhere between 400 and 500 chickens, with 200 more on the way…we think.)

Here are my family’s favorite, popovers.

Here’s a nice asparagus bread pudding for a crowd.

Here’s a lovely leek, spinach, thyme, and gruyere frittata with more egg ideas, and here’s another delicious frittata with fingerling potatoes and goat cheese. 

And one of my very favorites–the Green Island Farm egg sandwich.

And here are those delicious deviled eggs:

Deviled Eggs with Spinach, Basil & Toasted Pine Nut Pesto  

Recipe copyright Susie Middleton, from Fresh From the Farm (Taunton Press, 2014) Photo at top by Alexandra Grablewski.

Even if you don’t live with 557 hens and a man who’d be happy eating meat loaf and deviled eggs every day, you should still have a great recipe for deviled eggs in your repertoire. Our favorite version goes green (and tasty) with a little Spinach, Basil & Toasted Pine Nut Pesto (recipe below) and a touch of lemon zest. No fancy piping required, though we do like to garnish with a tiny basil leaf and a pine nut. Wait to garnish until just before serving.

Makes 12 deviled eggs


6 Hard-Cooked Eggs (see note below), peeled and sliced in half lengthwise

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 1/2 teaspoons Spinach, Basil & Toasted Pine Nut Pesto (recipe below), drained of excess olive oil

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

12 tiny fresh basil leaves, for garnish

12 whole toasted pine nuts, for garnish


Gently scoop or squeeze out the yolk from each egg half. Arrange the whites on a plate.

In a small bowl, mash together the yolks, mayonnaise, pesto, lemon juice, lemon zest, a pinch of salt, and several grinds of fresh pepper until you get a smooth, pale-green filling. (I use a small silicone spatula.) Using a small spoon or mini spatula, spoon or dollop the mixture evenly back into the egg white halves. (I like to let the mixture sort of fall off the spoon, but do whatever works for you!)

Garnish each half with a basil leaf and a pine nut.


Spinach, Basil & Toasted Pine Nut Pesto

Recipe copyright Susie Middleton, from Fresh From the Farm (Taunton Press, 2014)

Lovely green spinach leaves are my inspiration for a greener basil pesto.    Together with toasted pine nuts and lots of Parmigiano, they make a delicious, versatile sauce, which I use not only in deviled eggs, but over grilled veggies, in vinaigrettes, and even as a burger mix-in. Don’t forget to toast the pine nuts before you make the pesto.

Yields 1 1/3 cup 


1 large clove garlic

1 1/2 cups packed fresh baby spinach leaves

1 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil; more if needed

1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


In the bowl of a food processor, process the garlic clove until it is minced. Add the spinach, basil, pine nuts, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Process, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary, until finely chopped. Add the Parmigiano, 1/4 teaspoon salt, several grinds of fresh black pepper, and the lemon juice and process until well-combined. With the motor running, gradually pour the remaining olive oil through the feed tube and process until you get a nice smooth pesto. If the pesto is too stiff, add a bit more olive oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get the right consistency.


To Hard-Cook Eggs: To cook eggs for salads or to use as deviled eggs, put them in a saucepan wide enough to hold them in one layer and cover them cold water (that comes up an inch over the eggs). Bring the water to a slow boil over medium-high heat and once the water is boiling, immediately remove the pan from the heat. Cover the pan and steep the eggs for 12 minutes. Carefully drain off the hot water and run cold water over the eggs until they are cool to the touch. (Or plunge into an ice-bath.) Refrigerate until completely chilled before peeling.


Heirloom Seeds, A New Kale Cookbook, and A Passion for Veggies That Won’t Let Up

KaleGloriousKale_CVR_P6.jpg coverSafe to say I am pretty geeky about all things vegetable-y. I especially love to learn about new and different vegetable varieties. So when I got my hands on my friend Cathy Walther’s new kale cookbook, Kale Glorious Kale, I was in heaven. Right there on page four was this beautiful photo of nine different kinds of kale. We only grow three different kinds, but I would love to grow more. Down the road, farmer Rusty Gordon grows 13 different kinds at Ghost Island Farm. For the book, Cathy interviewed Rusty about growing kale, so I learned that Rusty’s favorite variety is Beira, a specialty kale originally from Portugal that resembles collard greens.

kale types screen shot

Cathy also touched base with legendary plant breeder Frank Morton, of Wild Garden Seed Co. in Philomath, Oregon. I know his name from the research I’ve done on lettuce varieties, but I didn’t realize that he had developed the lovely and tender White Russian kale, a cross between Red Russian and Siberian, and the sexy Red Ursa. He mentions that Red Ursa has particularly sweet stems, and that sugar tends to concentrate in stems. Throughout Kale, Glorious, Kale, Cathy goes on to feed my curiosity with flavor-pairing charts, technique tips, growing tips, and fun kale anecdotes, many appearing as “The Kale Chronicles” throughout the recipe chapters.

Cushaw in Freeman GardenFreeman Root Cellar-2As it happens, the same week I got Cathy’s book, I was invited to speak at Old Sturbridge Village, a very cool living history museum in central Massachusetts that replicates an 1830’s New England village. The museum is very active in preserving heritage breeds of animals and in growing and saving the seeds of heirloom vegetables. Much to my delight, the folks who invited me to speak that night brought along a selection of heirloom vegetables from the working farm in the village to display around the room. I could barely keep my eyes off this bounty, and later on, I asked OSV’s Debra Friedman to give me a little background on some of the vegetables. I think Deb knew I was pretty excited, because wouldn’t you know it, guess what showed up in my mailbox this week? Seeds! Boston Marrow Squash, Green Nutmeg Melon, Canada Crookneck Winter Squash, Jacob’s Cattle Bush Bean, Red Wethersfield Onion—oh, my! Roy is going to groan when I tell him we need more room for heirloom vegetables. I am pretty thrilled, though. Thanks Deb.

photo-178I think Roy is onboard with planting more kale, though. Which is a good thing, as I am excited about all the delicious ways to cook it that Cathy offers in her new book. I’ve already made Kale Granola (recipe below), and it rocks. I’m sort of a granola freak anyway, and since I’ve been late to embrace the crispy kale trend, this gave me a chance to do both at once. But with Kale and Feta Pizza; Kale Caesar Salad; Tortilla, Shrimp & Kale Soup; Cider-Braised Kale and Chicken; Kale Latkes; and Cathy’s already famous Kale, Pumpkin Seed and Bacon Brittle (yes!), there is a lot to look forward to.  (She even has a gorgeous section on kale cocktails.) That is, if I can stop reading the “Kale Chronicles” or gazing at Alison Shaw’s stunning photos.

There doesn’t seem to be a limit to the kick I get out of vegetables. Reading about them, growing them, cooking them, photographing them. In fact, I don’t see this passion losing steam any time soon. So stand by–now that I’m back indoors with time to cook, I’m tinkering again!

photo-177Cathy Walther’s Kale Granola from Kale, Glorious Kale (Countryman Press, Sept. 2014)

Cathy says in her headnote, “The combination of kale, oats and nuts is crunchy and satisfying. Everyone likes to munch on this as a snack—it doesn’t even seem to last until breakfast to top yogurt, mix with fruit or serve with milk. It’s easy to vary the nuts and the dried fruit with your favorites.


5 cups curly kale (stripped from stalk, chopped or torn into large bite-sized pieces, rinsed and dried well)

6 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, divided (see Cook’s Note)

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ cup light brown sugar

6 tablespoons pure maple syrup

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup broken pecans, broken walnuts, or sliced almonds

½ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup sesame seeds

1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped

¼ cup dried apricots, chopped into ¼-inch pieces

¼ cup raisins, roughly chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 300° F.

2. Make sure the kale is well dried. Place the kale in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Knead or massage with your hands until the coconut oil is rubbed on all the leaves. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 5 tablespoons of coconut oil, and the brown sugar, maple syrup and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. In another larger bowl, combine the nuts, oats, and seeds.

4. Take 2 tablespoons of the wet ingredients and combine with the kale. Rub it over the leaves. Pour the rest over the oat mixture and mix very well until incorporated and the oats are completed covered.

5. Line two 12×17-inch baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Place the oats on one sheet, spreading them out evenly, and the kale on the other sheet. (The kale seems to crisp up better separately, but you can mix the kale and oats together and it will work.) Bake all for 25 to 30 minutes, mixing two or three times to prevent the outer edges from burning, and also rotating the pans. I sometimes switch the oven setting to “convection bake” if the mixture doesn’t seem to be crisping up. Remove the kale when it is crispy, but not browned. Remove the oats when they are crispy or nearly crispy and before the nuts are burned. Both will get crispier once they sit on the counter to cool.

6. When cooled, combine the kale with the oats. Add the dried fruit. Pack into mason jars for storage.

Cook’s Note (on Coconut Oil) from Cathy: “I’ve switched to coconut oil instead of canola oil for making granola (though substitute canola or another vegetable oil if that is what you have). I love the subtle flavor coconut adds, and nutritionists are recommending its healthier properties. In warmer weather, coconut oil looks like an oil; in cooler weather it tends to solidify. For this recipe, if it has solidified, I usually put the jar in a saucepan of hot water until it becomes liquid again. Also, if you mix it with cold maple syrup it tends to solidify again, which makes it hard to coat the oats and kale, so I usually just have the maple syrup at room temperature or heat it up very slightly before mixing the liquid ingredients.”










Farm Eggs+Spring Greens= Green Island Farm Egg Sandwich

Egg Sandwich pic monkey

When I’m away from the farm, one of the things I miss most are our delicious eggs. (Well, I miss the egg farmer, too.) So as I leave today for a week, I’m indulging myself and posting one of my favorite egg recipes from Fresh from the Farm: A Year of Recipes and Stories. It’s a glorious open-faced egg sandwich, meant to challenge you to find as many local ingredients as you can when you put it (or something similar inspired by it!) together. (Recipe below.) In addition to the eggs, locally baked bread, local bacon, and Massachusetts-made cheddar, I also toss in a few of our own early Asian greens like mizuna and tat soi and drizzle with some honey gathered just up the road.

Since I’ve lately become seduced by Instagram, and one of my favorite subjects is our eggs, I thought I’d collect those eggy still-lifes and post them here as well. (You can see my daily Instagram photos here on as well, on the home page and at the bottom of the sidebar at right.)

Now, while I’m away, I only have to pop over to the blog to visit our eggs!


The wash room. Roy does this twice a day. No joke.


photo-13 Hate to scramble this; it’s so lovely.


photo-16 This was our first duck egg.



This morning Roy put out the chalkboard sign to market his duck eggs.


hard boiled pic monkey

Twelve minutes.


Note:  Lovely sandwich photo at top taken by Alexandra Grablewski and styled by Michael Pederson for Fresh from the Farm.

Green Island Farm Open-Faced Egg Sandwich                                        with Local Bacon, Cheddar & Asian Greens  

I love this sophisticated take on a breakfast sandwich, because it’s possible to include so many local ingredients in it. These open-faced sandwiches are a bit like giant crostini, so eat them out of hand and eat them right away!

Serves 4

4 slices bacon, preferably local

Four 3/4-inch slices peasant bread (from an oblong loaf) or challah bread (either way, pieces should be around 2 1/2 inches x 5 inches in diameter)

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened

2 to 2 1/2 ounces aged sharp Cheddar cheese  or any good local or regional semi-hard cheese, sliced thinly (about 10 to 12 small slices total)

4 fresh, local large eggs, preferably at room temperature

1 tablespoon heavy cream

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 to 2 teaspoons tender herb leaves (such as chives, chervil, cilantro, or parsley) or chive blossoms, plus 4 small tender sprigs or edible flowers for garnish (optional)

12 to 16 mizuna leaves (or other baby greens such as mustard, tat soi, arugula, or kale)

Honey, preferably local, for drizzling

Sea salt (optional)

Cook the bacon using your favorite method and drain on paper towels. Snap each piece in half so that you have 8 shorter strips of cooked bacon.

Arrange an oven rack 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler to high. Put the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast lightly. Turn the slices over, spread the untoasted sides with about 1 tablespoon of the butter, and put the baking sheet back under the broiler. Broil until the tops are golden brown. Arrange the cheese slices on top of the bread and broil until just beginning to melt.

Meanwhile, in a medium (10-inch) nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons butter over medium heat. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, a generous pinch of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Stir in the herb leaves or chive blossoms. When the butter has melted and is foaming, pour in the egg mixture. Let it sit until the edges start to set and then, using a silicone spatula, gently pull the edges of the egg toward the center, letting uncooked egg run underneath (tilting the pan if necessary). Continue to cook the egg this way, gradually gathering the soft folds of eggs together into a rough circle, about 6 to 7 inches around. (This is really just scrambled eggs with a little less scrambling.) When the eggs are mostly set, flip (use the spatula to divide the eggs in half first for easier flipping) and let the bottom side cook and brown up a bit. Transfer the egg to a cutting board and cut into four portions.

Arrange a few mizuna leaves on each of the bread pieces and top with a portion of egg. Top each with 2 pieces of bacon, another leaf or two of mizuna, and the herb sprig or flowers(if using). Drizzle all with honey, sprinkle with a little sea salt if desired, cut each piece in half, and serve right away.

mizuna tat soi plate picmonk

Mizuna is the spiky green; tat soi is also known as “spoon cabbage.”


How to Make a Savory Rustic Tart with an Easy, Flaky Dough

xroastedtomatotartxTART DOUGH 20

My affection for buttery, flaky crusts and sweet, caramelized vegetables came together one magical day many years ago. I realized that the wonderfully easy food-processor tart dough I had learned as a young cook at Al Forno restaurant wasn’t just for dessert. As much as I like a good rustic fruit tart (and there is one to die for—Little Pear Crostatas with Hazelnut Crisp Topping—in Fresh from the Farm), I am always looking for a good destination for roasted or sautéed vegetables, too. And these fun-to-make, free-form tarts (no special pan needed) are perfect for showcasing all kinds of veggies.

xTARTS Ratatouille 2I really played out this idea in The Fresh & Green Table with four delicious recipes—Roasted Ratatouille Tart with Goat Cheese & Mint; Seven-Treasure Roasted Winter Veggie Tart; Roasted Butternut Squash, Cranberry, Shallot & Pecan Tart; and Savoy Cabbage, Apple, Onion & Gruyere Tart (pictured here). And, not being able to help myself, I’ve done it again in Fresh from the Farm with one of my favorite ingredients, roasted tomatoes (see photo at top.)

I’ve never blogged about the tarts, though, because the recipes take up a lot of vertical space. With both the tart dough and the completed tart recipe needing to run together, your eyes would get tired!

But today I was organizing some old photos and came across a series of decent test photos that Roy and I took while developing the tarts for The Fresh & Green Table. I realized that publishing them would go a long way towards illuminating the technique of making the dough and assembling the tarts, so I’ve decided to go ahead and post these photos here today. (Therefore, if you’re looking at one of the tart recipes in my book, you can now get a little idea of what the process is like by looking here. Next I should probably do a video!)

You’ll also find the tart dough recipe after the photos. And I will put the recipe for the Savoy Cabbage, Apple, Onion & Gruyere Tart (the one in these process photos) in a separate post so that you can print it out on its own (and make it right now, while winter cabbage reigns supreme). One of these days I will also finally get my recipe formatting software working—and then the recipes will truly be print friendly. It’s on the list, I promise.

By the way, rustic tarts are also variously called crostatas and galettes.

Making and Assembling a Savory Rustic Tart


xTART DOUGH 1After pulsing the flour, salt, cold butter and a little ice water together in a food processor until the mixture looks like small pebbles, dump the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Use your fingers and the palm of your hand to knead the loose dough together into a mass.


On a floured surface, pat and shape the dough into two flat disks, each about an inch thick. Wrap well in plastic and refrigerate for an hour or up to two days. Or freeze for a few weeks.



Remove dough from fridge 30 to 45 minutes before rolling. Flour a large surface, get out a ruler, and begin rolling the dough disk out, lifting the dough up, tossing a little more flour underneath, and giving it a quarter turn after every roll. The lifting and flour help prevent sticking; the turn helps with shaping a rough circle. (I like a French pin with tapered ends, which also helps to keep you from rolling over the edges of the dough, which will squish it.) Continue to roll the dough until you have a circle roughly 12-inches wide.
xTART DOUGH 6Transfer the dough to a parchment- lined heavy duty baking sheet.

Make an egg wash by combining an egg yolk and heavy cream.

Arrange all your filling ingredients around your baking sheet to make assembly easiest. (In most tart recipes, you can cook the filling ingredients during the time it takes for your dough to come back up to cool room temperature.)

xtart dough 8

Arrange your first ingredient (usually cheese; in this case gruyere) in the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border all the way around. (Note, I could have done a much better job on this one–looks like 2 inches on one side and 4 on another! Maybe it was the camera angle.) Top with your next layer (in this case, sautéed cabbage).
xTART DOUGH 11xTART DOUGH 10Continue layering your filling ingredients until you are done.


However you are most comfortable, pleat the edges of the dough up and over the filling.


I often use the thumb and fingers of one hand to pinch while using the other hand to pull the dough up and begin the fold. (Okay, folks, by now you realize I don’t stand a chance at a career as a hand model. Yes, Roy took these pictures and those are my big hands!)





I find one pleat about every three  inches works well.  Continue pleating until the tart is contained. If cracks develop, don’t worry—you can pinch the dough together to seal it.

Brush the edges of the tart (and underneath the pleated folds) with egg wash. Sprinkle with herbs, a little cheese, or a bit of coarse salt.

xTARTS Cabbage 5



Bake until golden all over (see top photos) and brown and crisp on the bottom (check with a spatula). Depending on the size of the tart, this usually takes about 40 to 45 minutes at 400 degrees.

xTARTS Cabbage 2

Let cool for several minutes and cut into serving pieces. Salad or soup optional!


xTART DOUGH 4 xTARTS Ratatouille 2Savory Rustic Tart Dough Recipe

Easy, make-ahead, absolutely delicious. I swear, you no longer have to be afraid of pastry dough—of making it, rolling it out, shaping it—any of that. Yes, you’ll need a food processor (my favorite tool for making pizza dough, too), but oh, will you be happy with this ultra-buttery flaky crust.

The one thing you should keep in mind when making this dough is timing. It really works best to make the dough ahead. While it only takes 10 minutes to make, the dough needs to rest and chill in the fridge for at least an hour (and up to 2 days), and then, after taking it out of the fridge, it will need to warm back up to “cool” room temperature*, which will take about 45 to 55 minutes. So it’s a great idea to make the dough some morning or evening when you have just a few spare minutes. Pop it in the fridge and then when you’re ready to make a tart, you’ll only need to set aside the time it takes to warm it back up—and that’s the perfect amount of time to make your filling. It’s also really a joy to be able to reach in and grab that little wrapped present of dough already made up. (The dough will also keep in the freezer for 3 or 4 weeks.)

Makes enough dough for two 8- to 9-inch Rustic Tarts.

2 cups (9 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1/2 pound (16 Tbsp.) very cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

1/4 cup ice water

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Pulse briefly to combine.

Add the cubes of butter. Pulse quickly about 20 times, or until the butter particles are quite small (like tiny pebbles). With the motor running, add the ice water in a steady stream. (This will take about 10 seconds). Stop the motor. Then pulse quickly six or eight times—just until the mixture begins to come off the sides of the bowl and clump together. The mixture will still be somewhat loose and crumbly—that’s okay. You will bring the dough together in the next step.

Turn the mixture out into a big mixing bowl and knead it briefly against the sides of the bowl to finish bringing it together into a dough. (Once you have incorporated all of the crumbs, knead once or twice to smooth out the dough just a bit. While you don’t want to over-handle the dough, you also don’t want to be afraid to handle it as much as you need to in order to bring all the bits of the dough together, as it will ultimately be easier to roll out.)

Divide the dough in half. (If you have a scale, you can weigh the dough pieces to make sure they’re of equal or close-to-equal weight. They should each weigh about 9 1/2 oz.)

Shape each piece into a disk about 1-inch thick (and about 4 inches across). (Again, don’t be afraid to handle the disk just enough to smooth out cracks and make a tidy disk.) Dust lightly with flour, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to two days. (You will need to remove the dough from the fridge 45 minutes before rolling it.)

Alternatively, you can freeze the dough for up to a month. Defrost it in the fridge overnight before using.

*NOTE: Depending on how long your dough disk has been refrigerated, it will most likely be between 50 and 42 degrees when you take it out. Anything in this range is rock hard. You’re looking for the dough to warm up to about 60 degrees. Don’t worry, you don’t have to take its temperature—it will be ready when it is still slightly cool but somewhat pliable. Again, depending on the temperature the dough was chilled to, and the temperature of your kitchen, this will take anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes—leaving 45 or so minutes is a good bet, but also don’t worry if you get behind. There is a decent window of time, and on all but the hottest of days (or kitchens), it can usually sit for up to 30 minutes more before it gets too warm.



The Ultimate Destination for Winter Cabbage: A Savory Tart

xTARTS Cabbage 3 This week I am posting a primer on how to make one of my very favorite things in the whole world–a savory rustic tart (aka crostata or galette). Be sure to check out that post–not only for tips and photos on making the dough and assembling the tarts–but also for the easy food-processor dough recipe, too. Then come back over here for a complete recipe for filling and assembling the cabbage, apple and onion tart (recipe follows). If you’ve got a copy of my cookbook The Fresh & Green Table, you can also use the guidelines over on that post to help you make either the Roasted Ratatouille Tart with Goat Cheese & Mint; the Seven-Treasure Roasted Winter Veggie Tart; or the Roasted Butternut Squash, Cranberry, Shallot & Pecan Tart. There’s also a Rustic Roasted Tomato Tart recipe (my favorite yet) in my new book, Fresh from the Farm: A Year of Recipes and Stories.

I hope you’ll try one of these fun-to-make free-form tarts. The crust is flaky, buttery, and delicious, and the savory fillings are the perfect counterpart. Serve a slice with a salad or a bowl of soup–or have a piece for breakfast!

PicMonkey Collage

Savoy Cabbage, Apple, Onion & Gruyère Rustic Tart


When I was developing my rustic tart recipes for The Fresh & Green Table, the filling for this tart was the surprise favorite with friends I never thought would be cabbage-eaters. So I highly recommend this as a great way to introduce people to the ethereal (and traditionally Alsatian) combination of sautéed cabbage and onions, nutty gruyere cheese, sweet-tart sautéed apples, perky fresh thyme, and buttery, flaky crust.

I also recommend closely following my sautéing directions for the filling—especially the cabbage. You’ll be cooking it in a relatively dry pan over relatively high heat, so that it will quickly brown (almost toast) rather than steam. This is the secret to bringing out the wonderfully complex nutty flavor in cabbage. Be sure to use the beautiful crinkly-leaved variety of cabbage known as Savoy for this. (You’ll find it in the grocery right next to green cabbage; it’s round, too, but with dark-green outer leaves.) The filling components cool quickly, so you can make them in about the time you’ll need to let your dough warm up after taking it out of the fridge.

Makes one 8- to 9-inch tart. Serves 4  


For the egg wash:

1 egg yolk

2 Tbsp. heavy cream


For the filling:

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion (6 to 7 oz.), thinly sliced

6 oz. Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced (about 3 cups packed)

1/2 Golden Delicious apple, unpeeled, cored and thinly sliced (about 1/8-inch thick)

kosher salt


For the tart:

3/4 cup (about 3 oz.) grated Gruyère cheese

1 tsp. lightly chopped fresh thyme leaves

flour for dusting

1 disk Savory Rustic Tart Dough (recipe here), made ahead, chilled for at least one hour, and removed from refrigerator 45 to 55 minutes before assembling tart


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set an oven rack in the center of the oven.

Make the egg wash

Whisk together the egg yolk and heavy cream in a small bowl, cover with plastic, and set aside.

Make the filling

In a heavy 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil and 1 Tbs. of the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is limp and translucent, 5 minutes. Uncover, turn the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown, about another 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the onions to a plate to cool.

Add 1/2 Tbsp. butter to the pan, turn the heat to medium high, and add the cabbage and another big pinch of salt. Cook, tossing with tongs occasionally (only once or twice at first; let the cabbage have contact with the pan), until the cabbage is limp and nicely browned in spots all over (the thinnest pieces will be all brown but the green color will still be bright in the bigger pieces), about 5 minutes. Transfer the cabbage to a plate to cool.

Take the pan off the heat, and let it cool for a minute or two before returning to the heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1/2 Tbsp. butter. When the butter has melted, add the apple slices, season them with a pinch of salt, and spread them out in one layer (tongs help here). Let them cook undisturbed until very lightly brown on the bottom side, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until the other side is very lightly browned, another 2 minutes. Transfer the apples to a plate to cool.

Make the tart

(For help with assembling the tart, check out the “How to Make A Savory Rustic Tart” photos here.)

Line a large heavy-duty rimmed sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper and position it next to a large cutting board or other surface you will use to roll out the dough. Arrange the cabbage, onions, apples, thyme and Gruyère around your work area.

Sprinkle your work surface lightly with flour and spread it around with your hand. Put the disk of dough in front of you and lightly tap it with the rolling pin to start softening and spreading it. Then gently roll it out, lifting and giving the disk a quarter-turn after each roll, until you have a roughly 12-inch circle. Try not to roll your pin over the edges of the dough, as that will tend to make the edges thinner than the center. (If your edges get very ragged or torn, it’s okay to patch them back together or trim them a bit.) If at any time the dough feels like it is sticking, lift it up and toss a bit of flour underneath it and/or over it.  Transfer the dough to the baking sheet by rolling it up or draping it over your rolling pin and unrolling or undraping it on the baking sheet.

Sprinkle a quarter of the Gruyère over the dough, leaving a two-inch border around the edge. Arrange half of the cabbage over the Gruyère. Arrange half of the onions over the cabbage. Sprinkle them with a little bit of fresh thyme, and top with another quarter of the Gruyère. Repeat with the remaining cabbage and onions, and sprinkle again with a little thyme and another quarter of the Gruyère. Arrange the apples, very slightly overlapping, in the center of the tart (they will not cover all the filling). Sprinkle with a tiny bit of thyme and the remaining Gruyère.

Pleat and fold the edges of the dough up and over the outer edge of the filling all the way around the tart.  (You will be folding in that 2-inch border.) You don’t have to go crazy making a lot of pleats—folding a piece of dough in about every 2 to 3 inches around the tart will get you the results you want (you’ll have about 8 or 9 folds).

Brush the edges of the dough with some of the egg wash (you won’t use it all), and sprinkle the edges of the tart with any remaining thyme.

Bake until nicely golden all over and crisp and brown on the bottom (check with spatula), about 38 to 40 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and use the parchment paper to slide the tart on to a cutting board. Cool for another 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Summer Farm Frittata with Fingerlings, Fresh Herbs, Greens & Goat Cheese

Late at night, after I’ve spent an entire day fooling around with vegetables, what do I do but curl up on the couch with a book about—vegetables! My new favorite cookbook is River Cottage Veg by the unstoppable British food writer, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I must admit, I’m fond of his pro-veg (rather than anti-meat) philosophy, because, well, it’s pretty much the point of view I offer in The Fresh & Green Table. But it’s more than that. I just plain like his food—honest and sensible but inspiring too. Somehow, this big hefty book, its thick matte pages covered from ear to ear with colorful but homey food photos and whimsical illustrations, feels like just the right thing to plunk on your lap at the end of a long day.

I only got to page six before I saw the thing I wanted to make for supper the very next day.

And I did.

Only I didn’t exactly follow Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe. I know, I know. (Insert sheepish look here.) But I’m really in the mode of “use what we have around” so into this lovely early summer frittata went all kinds of interesting things from the garden.

I started with 9 little pullet eggs. These are the smallest eggs our new chickens are laying (many of them have already upgraded to medium and large eggs). We don’t sell a lot of them, so they wind up as house eggs. Voila, 9 into a frittata—way to use those eggs up, Susie!

Next I went out to the garden with my home gardener/home cook hat on. (Not my market gardener/professional cook hat). And I picked little tiny bits of interesting odds and ends that happen to hang around when you grow a few of your own vegetables. I get a huge kick out of these things that you never see in a grocery store—cilantro flowers, pea greens, little tiny potatoes the size of marbles, spring onions, squash blossoms, garlic chives. I picked some flowering oregano, too. A few sprigs of mint. A couple stalks of Swiss Chard. Mature pea pods. A sprig of Purple Ruffles basil. Calendula flowers. Yeah, never in a million years could I get away with publishing a recipe like this in a book or a magazine. (I can only imagine the car trips one would have to make in search of that list of ingredients.) But once in a while, it’s fun to indulge myself, and to give a little not-so-subtle boost to the idea of growing just a tiny bit of your own food. If you like to cook, there’s no better way to become really familiar with an ingredient than growing it.

The two non-local ingredients I used were fresh goat cheese (about 4 ounces) and unsalted butter (a couple tablespoons). Oops, and a splash of heavy cream. (You could omit.)

I got out my 10-inch slope-sided nonstick skillet and melted the butter over medium heat. I preheated the oven to 350°, and put my potatoes in a saucepan of water to boil. I sautéed the spring onions, then the chard and the pea greens, in the butter.

I whisked the eggs, cream, salt, pepper, and all the herbs (chopped) together. I crumbled the goat cheese and added that to the custard. I transferred the cooked potatoes to the skillet with the greens and added just a touch more butter. Turned up the heat to a sizzle and poured in the custard. I scooted everything around with a spatula to evenly distribute it, scattered on the calendula petals, and nestled the nasturtiums in last. I turned up the heat ever so slightly and waited for the edges of the frittata to set. Then I carefully transferred it to the oven and set the timer for about 18 minutes. When it was puffed, firm in the middle, and lightly golden, I took it out to cool on a wooden board. (Frittatas are tastiest warm, not hot.)

I took a picture of this concoction before it went in the oven, thinking the final product might look a little muddled or faded—or something. Well, it actually looked rather comely in the end. And it had great flavor—a big boost from the herbs and goat cheese, and those fingerlings really made it feel filling. Roy ate three pieces—and leftovers for lunch–which is saying a lot, in his language. I thought with all those flowers and herbs he might find it a bit too frou-frou.

The thing is, you can make this frittata with any greens and herbs you can find—no calendula petals or cilantro flowers needed! So take a cue from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (and a couple of budget-minded farmers who live on an Island where meat is very expensive!) and have an all-veggie supper once or twice a week. Next on my list (though I know better than to promise that I’ll follow the recipe) is his “Vegeree”—a spicy rice dish with roasted eggplant. Yum.

Christmas Morning Popovers: Which Pan To Use?

This Christmas especially I am wishing we could be with my Mom and Dad and sister in Delaware. But it is not to be, so I will have to make do, recreating the traditional Christmas morning breakfast we’ve cooked year after year. Popovers are the star, with scrambled eggs and scrapple on the side. Scrapple might be a bit hard to find in Massachusetts (!), but I will definitely be making my Dad’s famous popovers. Only I’m not sure which pan I’m going to use.

When I was a very little girl, my job was to stand on a stool, dip a paper towel into a can of Crisco, and grease the cast-iron muffin pan with the stuff. The Crisco kind of went by the wayside, but for some reason, that cast iron pan wound up with me, and has traveled around the Northeast for the last 25 years or so. I’m not sure how old the pan is (it’s marked “Griswold, Erie PA,” so I know for sure that it was made before 1957, when the Wagner company absorbed Griswold. But it is likely much older than that). But I think it is due a little more respect than I have given it lately.

The cast-iron pan got the cold shoulder when the groovy new deep-cup nonstick popover pans came along several years back. Even my Dad got one of those. And we all smiled smugly when our popovers popped as high as the weeds in August. These popovers are so light and airy that I featured a version of them in The Fresh & Green Table. And in their defense, these airy popovers are perfect for filling with a veggie ragout or dipping in a bowl of tomato soup.

But more air means more crust—and less eggy-custardy filling. That custardy stuff happens to be my favorite part, especially when it is slathered with butter. And if your popover is supposed to be the star of the breakfast plate, well, it just makes sense to have more of the eggy stuff. At least that’s what I decided yesterday after (literally) dusting off the old cast-iron pan and baking a test-run of popovers. (Deciding to do this the same week that I was developing both waffle and crêpe recipes might not have been the best idea. Taste-testing was fun at first but then I started to feel like I was going to explode!)

The cast-iron-pan popovers popped perfectly respectably (photo at right) but left a delightful amount of silky stretchy custardy filling to savor. Roy and Farmer both concurred that these were delicious and each had second and third helpings. (To be fair, these were Farmer’s first popovers, so he was pretty excited to be in on the taste-testing. His tail thumped a lot and he gave us that crooked smile of his with one tooth hanging over his lip. And the look—you know that look. And he got another taste.)

The good news is that the batter recipe I included in The Fresh & Green Table works fine in either pan, with some adjustments for greasing the pan (included in the recipe below). My cast-iron pan has 11 cups, so I distributed the custard between them (though not very evenly so some were kind of squat.) The nonstick popover pans have only 6 cups, so they hold a lot more custard (hence the mega-poofing). But no matter what pan you use, you’re safe to fill the cups up at least 3/4 full and even a bit more than that. If you think of it, take your eggs and milk out of the fridge before you go to bed Christmas Eve, so you’ll have room-temperature ingredients in the morning. And if you’re resurrecting an old cast-iron pan, you, uh, may need to buy a can of Crisco.


I think popovers are best straight out of the oven, but they will keep for a day in a zip-top bag and can be reheated in a 350°oven, wrapped in foil, for 10 minutes.


2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, more softened butter for rubbing the pan and for serving

Vegetable shortening, such as Crisco (if using cast-iron pan)

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups whole milk, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups (5.6 ounces) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon table salt


Heat the oven to 425°F. Arrange a rack in the center of the oven.

Grease the cups of a nonstick (6-cup) popover pan very generously with softened butter or the cups of a cast-iron pan generously with vegetable shortening.

Combine the milk, flour, and salt in a blender and blend thoroughly. Add the eggs to the blender and blend until smooth. Lastly, blend in the melted 2 tablespoons butter.

Pour the batter into the cups (they will be about 3/4 to 7/8 full), dividing it evenly. Put the pan in the oven and do not open the oven door for the entire baking time.

Bake for 20 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and continue baking (without opening the oven door) until the popovers are very puffed and a deep golden brown, about another 10 to 12 minutes for the cast-iron pan popovers and about 15 minutes for the popovers in the nonstick popover pans.

Serve right away with lots of butter or split and filled with roasted or braised veggies.


Photo at top by Annabelle Breakey from The Fresh & Green Table




Asparagus, Eggs & Croissants in a Recipe for Easter Brunch

Every year around Easter time (and believe it or not, this is’s third Easter), I start writing something about asparagus, even though we’re still weeks away from harvesting any local asparagus. I’ve always reassured myself that at least the vegetable is now in season in California; and after all, that’s where most of the country’s asparagus comes from—during the proper asparagus season. (Or at least it used to.) I’ve always found it ridiculous to buy asparagus out of season from South America (so I simply don’t eat asparagus in winter), but now I find it even more ridiculous that most of the asparagus in stores right now is coming from Mexico, which has underpriced California growers by so much that even California grocery stores sell Mexican asparagus.

Okay, so despite my rant (sorry about that), I still wanted to give you a tasty asparagus recipe for Easter, so I went to the store and bought asparagus to cook with this morning—and I tried not to look at the label of origin. I’m comforting myself with the delicious bread pudding that just came out of the oven, and I am also using the excuse that this dish is really all about the eggs. I know, I know—I have a thing about farm-fresh eggs, too, with their rich marigold yolks and bouncy whites.

But here’s the thing—it may be impossible to get local or even U.S. asparagus this Easter, but you’ve got more and more choice in eggs at the grocery store now. Look for the USDA Organic label (even Costco has Organic eggs!), the Certified Humane label, or eggs that say “pastured.” Pastured eggs come from hens that truly do range over grass. (Unfortunately, the term “free-range” can be applied to hens that simply have a bit more room to stretch than the typical factory egg-layer which has 1 square foot of space allotted to her. Some free-range eggs truly do come from “free-range” hens, but the term is a loose one.) And then there’s always the “grow-your-own” option! Backyard chicken keeping is one of the biggest trends going, so why not join in?! But if you’re planning to get baby chicks for Easter (our 50 babies arrive April 25), you will have to wait five or six months before they lay eggs.

In the mean time, enjoy this eggy treat with friends and family this Easter morning and keep the spirit of new beginnings in your heart.


Asparagus, Leek, Bacon & Croissant Bread Pudding
While I love challah bread in a savory bread pudding, croissants are a wonderful option, too, and they give the final dish a lovely ethereal texture. (No need for fancy croissants—just pick some up at the grocery store bakery.) There’s no trick to cooking a bread pudding (you can even call it a strata if you like), so don’t be intimidated. I like to bake mine soon after assembling (I let the bread soak up custard for 20 minutes or so), but I have held them in the fridge for a few hours before baking, so feel free to do that if you like. (Remove from fridge a half-hour or so before baking.)
: Breakfast & Brunch
Serves: 6
  • kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch medium asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced on a sharp diagonal (to yield about 2¼ cups)
  • 7 eggs
  • 1¾ cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons sliced fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • ⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ pound day-old grocery store or bakery croissants, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 1½ cups (packed) coarsely grated Gruyere cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Rub a 9×13-inch (3-quart) baking dish all over with a little butter.
  2. In a large heavy nonstick skillet, cook the bacon over medium-low heat until crisp and browned, about 10 to 14 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and break up into smaller pieces when cool. Pour off half the bacon fat from the skillet and add 1 tablespoon butter and the leeks. Season the leeks with a pinch of salt, cover, and cook, stirring, until softened and beginning to brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and let the leeks cool.
  3. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil and the remaining half-tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add the asparagus and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, stirring, until the asparagus is crisp-tender (it will still be somewhat green), about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a plate.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, the milk, the cream, the chives, the thyme, the nutmeg, a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tsp. salt. Whisk well to combine.
  5. Arrange half of the croissant pieces over the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle half of the asparagus, half of the leeks, half of the Gruyere, and half of the bacon over the bread. Repeat with the remaining bread, veggies, cheese, and bacon.
  6. Pour the egg mixture evenly over all. (Start at one end and pour slowly back and forth). Using your hands, gently press down on the bread and veggies to force the custard to evenly surround everything. Let sit for 20 minutes. Bake until the bread pudding has risen and is set and dry in the middle (it will be golden all over), about 40 to 44 minutes.


Could You Have Nest-Box-Checking Disorder?

Anyone who works at home should have a chicken coop. Forget rummaging through the refrigerator, surfing Facebook, or even sneaking a spell on the couch to flip through catalogues (I never do that)—checking the hens’ nesting boxes for eggs is the best procrastinating maneuver ever. I should know. I’ve been getting up from the computer about 12 times a day to go outside and look for eggs. I guess I have Nest-Box-Checking Disorder, because I can’t help myself. Finding an egg in the hay—especially when it is still warm and I can hold it in my cold hands like a little hot water bottle—is like Christmas morning, over and over again. (Much better than Groundhog Day.)

During the darkest days of winter, we were only getting a couple of eggs a day. Now that the days are growing longer (we’ll have a whopping10 full hours of daylight on Feb. 11), the ladies are laying more. (Some gals were molting, too, so they were redirecting their energies towards changing their feathers rather than laying.) Sometimes when I go to check, there are three or four eggs lying together—almost always in the same box, as these girls have a strange preference for crowding. We keep a special bowl in the mudroom for collecting the day’s eggs, so that anyone can add to it. (Roy often checks the boxes first-thing when he comes home from work, as he has Nest-Box-Checking Disorder, too. The hardest thing to do for both of us is to refrain from checking when Libby is here, because, after all, it’s not a very nice thing for an adult to usurp this especially kid-friendly activity.) At the end of the day, we count up the eggs, ooh and ah over the different shapes and colors and speckles, and refrigerate them.

Even if there aren’t any eggs in the boxes, I still get a kick out of visiting with the ladies. They make all kinds of clucking noises and rush from their outer pen to greet me, as they know I often have lettuce or hamburger buns or leftover roasted vegetables for them. It’s a good life these gals lead; we just got them a special heated chicken-waterer so their water isn’t frozen over in the morning. (Actually, the present was more for us, as walking back to the house to change the water every morning is a pain.)

While I love checking on the ladies, I have elevated the art of procrastination to include all of the animals on the farmette. Cocoa Bunny literally runs circles around her cage if you bring her a green treat (like these Brussels sprouts), and Farmer is up for a good walk about a zillion times a day. Most mornings, and usually almost every evening around dusk, Farmer and I track the wild bunnies, which thrive here in a Watership Down kind of way. God knows how many there are—maybe thousands? There were so many tracks in the snow this morning that Farmer’s nose was snow-encrusted with all that sniffing.

If all else fails, my last procrastination technique is to look out the window right next to my desk. If there aren’t birds snacking at the birdfeeder Roy has kindly hung within my sight, then a group of six or eight wild turkeys is often strolling by, just a few feet away. They’re good for a glance or two. But I don’t think I’ll ever get Bird-Watching Disorder. After all, looking out the window is not half as much fun as actually getting up from the computer and walking outside. And coming back in with something good to eat.

Quickest Asparagus Recipe Yet—And a Pretty Egg Pancake Makes it Lunch for One

While I wait (and wait) for our local asparagus, it occurs to me that everyone else is not waiting. The grocery stores are full of asparagus (from elsewhere, wherever that is) and it is hard to walk down the produce aisles without snatching up a bunch. I understand, really I do, and that is probably why my two blogs on asparagus from last year are getting hit up a lot these days. So okay, I can’t be my stubborn self and wait another month to offer up more asparagus recipes. Especially because there are about a gazillion different ways to cook asparagus—almost all of them pretty darn quick—so I can come back to this provocative vegetable again. Soon.

While I love quick-braising and sautéing asparagus, I think the method that may be the absolute speediest may offer up some of the best flavor, too. It’s stir-frying. Two to three minutes, and you’ve got a beguiling roasty-toasty flavor and a nice crisp-tender texture. A few keys here: Slice the asparagus thinly on the bias for the best browning; don’t use a lot of fat; keep the heat cranked up. (I love the bowl shape of my non-stick stir-fry pan, but you can substitute with a nonstick skillet—just stir more frequently.) I like to include a bit of garlic, some sliced scallions or shallots (as in the recipe below), or a combo of ginger and garlic in an asparagus stir-fry—but not much more. I don’t make a finishing pan sauce for it, in order to let that pure flavor shine through. (I do, however, sometimes like a cool, creamy garnish for this dish—crème frâiche is lovely.)

One of my favorite destinations for stir-fried asparagus is a little flat egg “pancake” (really just an unscrambled scrambled egg), which I dress up with fresh herbs to look pretty. (Yes, eggs—no surprise.) I tumble the asparagus and shallots out of the pan and onto the pancake, garnish the whole thing with a dollop of crème frâiche and a few more herbs, and I have a lovely spring lunch in less than 10 minutes (less than 5 minutes of cooking). But you can also double the asparagus recipe below and serve it as a quick side dish for dinner, too.

A Quick Note about Printable Recipes: I have finally figured out a way to provide you with printable recipes, through Google Documents. (Just click on the printable recipe link below the recipe title.) I set this up with last week’s fennel blog and will try to do this going forward until I can afford a website update and find a better way. (This should, I hope, at least make my Mom happy!) Of course you can still print the blog posts with the recipes imbedded in them, but it’s not a very usable format (and expends excess paper, too). The printable recipes are simply Word documents.

Stir-Fried Asparagus & Shallots on Fresh Herb Egg Pancake for One

Printable Version of Recipe

For this stir-fry, be sure to slice the asparagus sharply on the diagonal. It not only looks pretty, but the asparagus will also cook more evenly and the interior of the stalks will brown better. Crème frâiche is available in small tubs now in most groceries. Check both the cheese and dairy sections. If you can’t find it (or don’t want to bother with another trip to the grocery), you could try a little sour cream loosened with a bit of milk or a bit of thick yogurt or even fresh goat cheese. I absolutely love what fresh mint does here in both the pancake and as a garnish, but I usually combine it with chives and/or parsley, which hold their bright green color better. I call for cooking the veggies first and then the egg, but if you’re even a moderately good multi-tasker you can cook them both at the same time.

For the veggies:
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced asparagus (cut on the diagonal, 3/8- to 1/2-inch thick and 2 inches long), from about 1/2 medium bunch (or 1/2 pound) asparagus, trimmed
1/4 cup (scant) thinly sliced shallot (about 1/2 medium to large shallot)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the egg pancake:
1 large egg
1 teaspoon half-n-half or heavy cream
big pinch kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 scant tablespoon combo fresh baby mint leaves (or thinly sliced mint) and small parsley leaves and/or sliced chives (plus a sprinkling more for garnish)
2 teaspoons crème frâiche for garnishing

Make the veggies: In a large nonstick stir-fry pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (it will loosen up and shimmer), add the asparagus, the shallots, and the 1/8 teaspoon salt, and turn the heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally for the first minute, and then more frequently, until most of the asparagus are browned around the edges and the shallots are softened and browned, 2 to 3 minutes. (Pay attention here—this goes fast.) Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the veggies to a plate while you make the egg.

Make the egg: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, half ‘n half or cream, a little salt, and a grind or two of fresh pepper. In a small nonstick skillet, heat the butter over medium-low heat. When the butter has melted, swirl it around in the pan to cover the bottom. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and do not stir. Sprinkle or arrange the herb leaves or cut herbs over the top of the egg. Let the egg cook until it has set, about 3 to 4 minutes. The egg will set from the outside edges in. When the center of the egg looks just barely set, remove the egg from the pan and slide it on a small pretty salad plate, keeping the herb side up. (The bottom will be golden, the top should be still slightly soft.)

Pile the asparagus and shallot mixture on top of the egg; garnish with the crème fraiche and extra herbs. Eat right away.

Serves 1