Not Remotely Vegan Mushroom Leek Omelet (Vegetarian)

Let’s face it. There are times in life when you have no choice but to eat a delicious omelet. Unless you’re strictly vegan, in which case there may be times when you have no desire to eat a delicious omelet but would certainly still enjoy a nice tofu scramble. If that’s the case, I promise you I will post a vegan alternative to the aforementioned omelet one of these days. Promise. Pro. Mise.

In the meantime, however, all I have is this totally non-vegan omelet, with nothing to say for myself except that I love this omelet.

Actually, I do have one more thing to say for myself, which is that we went on a lovely trip to the Russian River for the 4th of July holiday this past weekend, and stayed with our friends Ben and Harley and Harley’s awesome parents at their river house. And the house was full of animal products all weekend. And everyone had brought more eggs than anyone knew what to do with. And we had a house full of hungry friends each morning. And we had me, always wanting to cook something that will make everybody happy. And me, always one to throw rules to the wind for festive reasons. And me, additionally harboring twice as many mushrooms as I knew what to do with. And so I invented this omelet. I was forced to really, I had no choice. I couldn’t let all those eggs and mushrooms and potential omelets go to waste, could I?

But why am I being an omelet apologist? You don’t have time for that. You have a fantastic omelet to devour, and now I’m just standing in your way. So onward. The omelet. Let the fruits of our Independence Day revelry live on.

Mushroom Leek Omelet

The filling

  • 1 leek, thoroughly cleaned, sliced
  • 8 oz baby bella (cremini) or chanterelle mushrooms, sliced in 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (Note: If you’re not opposed, replacing the oil with butter makes it extra delicious. I know, I’m miserable at being vegan.)
  • 1 c. fresh corn from the cob (canned or frozen also works)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 c. shredded gruyére (optional)
The omelet
  • 4 cage-free organic eggs
  • A bit of water or (if you must) milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the filling. Heat a medium sized pan on medium to medium high. When hot, add oil. Once the oil is hot, add the leeks, stirring to cover thoroughly with oil. (If you’re using butter, let the butter melt completely before adding leek.) Saute a while, stirring often, until leek begins to soften, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and stir to coat with oil. Continue to cook for another minute, stirring regularly. Cover, and leave the mixture a while for the mushrooms to juice, about 2 or 3 minutes more, stirring occasionally. When the mushrooms have juiced, remove cover. Add corn and cook another 2 or 3 minutes, being mindful that the leeks and mushrooms don’t overcook. Add salt to taste. Remove from heat to a bowl.

For the omelet. Crack the eggs into a medium sized mixing bowl, being careful to remove any bits of shell that may get involved. Add a bit of water (or milk, if that’s what you’re using); approximately 1/8 to 1/4 cup. Whisk briskly until mixture is fairly uniform, being careful not to over whisk. (Whisking eggs too long introduces bubbles and can make them intolerably fluffy. Just my humble opinion.)

Heat a large skillet on medium high, add oil. When oil is hot, pour in one half of the egg mixture slowly (my brilliant friend Ben ladles it in with a 1/4 c. measuring cup, letting the egg solidify as he adds the mixture). This part of the omelet takes omelet talent. Let the egg cook through on bottom, occasionally tipping the pan to let any liquid reach the edge of the pan.

When the egg mixture seems mostly cooked through, spoon about half of the mushroom filling in the middle of the omelet. (Note: Eyeball it to make sure the amount of filling makes sense. Too much filling is a common source of fallen omelets.)

Allow the omelet to cook just a bit longer, and if you’re using the cheese, now would be the time to sprinkle it in. Flip one side of the omelet over to cover the other. If you are omelet-inept, using a combination of a spatula and spoon may be advisable. Beyond that, all I can tell you is that omelets take practice and finesse. But if your omelet falls, don’t despair. It tastes the same, no matter what shape it’s in.

When you have folded over the omelet, cook on each side until slightly browned.

Voila. So there’s my favorite omelet.

Broccoli Leek Soup (Vegan)

I freely and shamelessly admit to you, this shiz is a straight-up Billy Sonoma ripoff. You see, they have this beautiful, delicate soup that is rendered unnecessarily non-vegetarian by the totally extraneous placement of chicken stock rather than vegetable stock. That being the case, I fully admit that my adaptation of replacing the chicken with veg stock is not particularly cunning. But the recipe is so thoroughly lovely and simple that I feel it warrants a bit of pomp and circumstance. Tah-dah!!!!

Courtesy of Billy Sonoma

You'll wish you made more.

Broccoli Leek Soup (adaptation from Williams-Sonoma*)

  • 23 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, including tender green portions,
    rinsed well and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 lb broccoli, trimmed, florets and stalks
    cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Tofutti sour cream
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add the leeks and saute until softened, 3 – 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and saute, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, about 2 – 3 minutes more.Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. 

In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches until smooth and return the soup to the pan. (Alternatively, process with a stick blender in the pan until smooth. Reheat the soup gently over medium heat. Season with salt and white pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with the sour cream and chives. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma*


*If you’re wondering why I keep repeating the point, it’s because I don’t want them to sue my ash. Not that they would ever notice me in the first place. But you never know.

Spanish(esque?) Zucchini Leek Dip (Vegetarian)

Well, I was driving to work the other day, and some dude on the radio was saying something to this effect:

“It’s based on a common Spanish dish. You use pureed zucchini, leeks, cilantro … it also has manchego and red pepper flakes. It’s a dip. It’s my signature dish. But I can’t tell you the recipe, I’d have to kill you. No really, I’ll never share the recipe.”

So I thought to myself, pureed zucchini, leek, cilantro and manchego? And it’s a dip? And it’s supposed to taste a little Spanish? I can do it.

(All due respect, it really was Spain.)

Now, having lived in Spain, I can say that I have no idea about any common Spanish dishes involving pureed zucchini, however, I did live in Northern Spain, and things are different there. In fact, there is a more-than-negligible contingent of people who do not consider Spain to have legitimate sovereignty over them. Hence, if you travel through, say, Galicia, you’re bound to see a lot of graffiti that says “This is not Spain,” “No es España,” or “Nom e Espanha” (the Gallego equivalent thereof).

In any case, what I came up with was a totally random invention, I have no idea if it even remotely resembles any real Spanish dishes (though I fancy it does taste a little Spanish, mostly owing to the leek & manchego). I also have no idea if it remotely approximates the actual dish that the radio dude was talking about. What I do know is that it passed the J approval test, and was an interesting and tasty dip, albeit rather rich. I think it would be great for parties or as a tapa or something. Also, I will continue to experiment with it, so please check back from time to time for modifications to the current recipe if you’re interested.

Spanish-Esque Zucchini Leek Dip

1 zucchini
1 carefully cleaned leek
2 – 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
Handful of cilantro (~1/4 cup)
½ cup shredded manchego cheese
2 tbsp cream cheese
2 tbsp vegetable stock (if desired)
Red pepper flakes

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Oil a roasting pan, baking pan, or iron skillet. Add the zucchini, leek and garlic and toss a bit so they are coated with oil. Sprinkle a tiny bit of salt. Cover with aluminum foil and roast for ~20 – 25 minutes.

Once the veggies are roasted, transfer them to a food processor and puree until they are … um, pureed. At this point you may add the cheeses, cilantro, salt and red pepper flakes. I recommend adding them in portions and tasting frequently until you get to the desired flavor & consistency. If it becomes too dry, that would be the time to add the soup stock.