I’m not huge on breakfast.
I enjoy awesome cinnamon-maple-fruit-oatmeal-addmorestuff creations and beautiful ooey gooey cinnamon buns just as much as everyone else in the world (I never trust a cinnamon bun hater). But, sweets? Meh. They’re not exactly what I’m craving when I first wake up. In fact, I usually am not huge on eating in the morning at all (gasp! What?!). Not recommended, I know.
You see: I’m up and running between five and seven in the morning, depending on the day, and I’m pretty much busy for the next four or five hours getting everyone what they need and out the door on time and then cleaning up after the morning mess bomb. I’m a morning person, so this is the most productive time of day for me and I need to take advantage of that. And, while I probably should just grab a granola bar or whatever, I kind of just don’t want to, so I don’t. Crazy.
Then, it’s suddenly ten thirty in the morning and Max is already asking for lunch. Honestly, by that time it feels like lunch time – which makes me think I wake up entirely too early, but, uhm…whatever. At least the laundry is done and I don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day. Phew! When I used to work outside my home (a long time ago in a galaxy far away), I would just simply skip breakfast entirely, drink a ton of coffee and have an early lunch.
I don’t recommend that either.
So, while I’ve never really been a breakfast person, nor am I ever really hungry in the morning, I feel this is the perfect solution to the “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” conundrum I’ve faced for (pretty much) ever. At least for me. It’s brunch…or elevenses, as we call it here because my children eat happily and often like a bunch of hobbits.
This is just something I quickly threw together yesterday around eleven in the morning. It’s delicious and is a bit of a savory, brunchy, light but warm, vegetarian salad sort of thing. Did you catch all that?
While I realize that’s not super specific, I know and I’m ok with it because you could potentially enjoy this at any time of day. It hits every note that I want it to hit, which is what makes it one of my favorites and each of the elements has an intention.
It’s fresh and light, savory yet sweet and tangy with a bit of spice and it has the added bonus of being protein packed and therefore very filling for the long haul. The omelette is light and fluffy and filled with baby spinach and a sprinkle of your favorite cheese (I used a pinch of pecorino for it’s salty nutty flavor). It’s seasoned with salt and pepper and then sliced into strips and placed on top of a bed of baby spinach that’s drizzled with a bit of sweet quality aged balsamic and extra virgin olive oil. Then I finished it by frizzling some thinly sliced leeks in browned butter. Those leeks add a richness and a crunch with beautiful nutty and oniony flavor that really added to the eggs and spinach.
It’s very simple and delicious and I think just perfect for this time of year in that moment of morning where you need something not quite breakfast and not quite lunch.
For the omelette:
- two eggs
- 1 tablespoon very cold salted butter, diced finely
- 1/2 teaspoon grated shallot
- 1/2 teaspoon grated garlic
- pinch of red pepper (I used espelette pepper)
- 3/4 cup baby spinach leaves (about a handful)
- 1-2 tablespoons grated pecorino-romano (or your favorite cheese)
- salt and pepper to taste
For the salad:
- Omelette (above)
- 1-2 cups baby spinach leaves
- Sweet aged balsamic vinegar
- Quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- 1-2 tablespoons sliced leeks, washed and dried
- Additionally you may add crème fraîche to finish, if desired.
For the omelette: Heat nonstick pan over medium low heat. Whisk together eggs, diced butter, shallot, garlic and pepper. Spray or butter the preheated pan and pour egg mixture into pan. Reduce heat to low. Once the edges of the omelette easily pull away from the sides of the pan using a rubber spatula, drop baby spinach into the center of the eggs and sprinkle with cheese. Fold the right side over the spinach and the left side to create a trifold (like a letter). Remove from pan. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For the salad: Place baby spinach on plate and drizzle with aged sweet balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Slice omelette and place omelette slices on top of baby spinach. In a pan on medium high heat, add butter. Once butter turns golden brown add leeks and turn heat to medium low so the butter doesn’t burn. Once leeks are crispy, remove from butter and place on top of the omelette salad. Finish salad with crème fraîche if desired and salt and pepper to taste.