Saturday, June 28, 2008

The egg and I.

Yesterday I went to the farmer's market again after work, collecting zucchini and more sugar snap peas and bundles of tiny carrots with their feathery tops and baby beets with their tousled greens, rainbow chard with their brightly colored stalks, some beef short ribs, more marrow bones, two pounds of golden Rainier cherries (which go into the bottom of the bag so I don't eat them all before I get home), and a dozen eggs. Plus a pair of earrings. I did resist the handwoven market baskets, but maybe next time. Then I went home, put everything away, and went out to a friend's house for dinner. The market bounty would have to wait.

All day at work I thought about what I would cook for dinner. It had to be something simple, and fast; I was going out later. I have been making frittatas for a long time, but both Laurie Colwin and Barbara Kingsolver mentioned eggs fried over chopped vegetables as a simple meal, and I had always wanted to try it. Originally I was just going to do zucchini and onion, but at the last minute I grab a few baby carrots from the bundle at the bottom of my fridge. I slice them in half, and then crosswise into tiny little half-moons, and do the same to the zucchini (only the zucchini is a lot bigger than the carrots, so I quarter it). Last comes the onion, which I chop into a tiny dice.

The onions go into the pan first, my smallest frying pan slicked with a little olive oil. As the onion softens and turns translucent, I add the carrots, and finally the zucchini. The vegetables begin to brown around the edges; I season them with salt and pepper and make a little nest in the bed of vegetables, slip in the egg, which settles into the heat with a soft little sigh. The egg had a pale green shell and a bright yellow-orange yolk. There were all different colors, brown and pale cream and pale pink and blue-green, a rainbow in a cardboard box, so different from the cold white eggs that come from the supermarket. With a leftover biscuit - I had meant to eat it for lunch but somehow forgot - warmed up and on the side, it was a perfect meal.

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