Shiitake & Fennel Omlet for Two


As I understand it, shiitake mushrooms grow in the spring and fall during cool, wet, weather. I think I may be mistaken on that point though, because the two oak logs we inoculated with mushroom spawn a couple years ago repeatedly surprise us with mushrooms at unexpected times, like during the heat of early July.



So this week we found ourselves with an unexpected crop of shiitake mushrooms, and expected extra¬†fennel, because people in our CSA seem a little reluctant to take it. Mark is a little unsure why we plant it at all. But I, for one, love fennel even though I dislike anise, the seeds that come from fennel and have a licorice-flavor. The fennel bulb adds a distinctive, yet mild flavor that enriches just about any vegetable dish. But it can be a little daunting to know what to do with a fennel bulb. Here’s one of my favorite ways to use just a bit of the bulb. Another good chunk of the same bulb went into some saut√©ed vegetables we had for dinner.


2 Tbsp. to 1/4 c. thinly sliced fennel (if you have a mandoline slicer this is a good time to use it)
2 average sized shiitake mushrooms, sliced (other mushrooms work, too, but go for hearty varieties if you can)
1 Tbsp. butter (divided)
fennel sprigs for garnish

3-4 eggs
1-2 Tbsp. milk or half-n-half
salt and pepper to taste
cheese (optional, though if using cheese I recommend Gouda, Swiss, or Feta, although any cheese would make a lovely addition)


Heat a non-stick skillet on medium-high, add 1/2 the butter and when sizzling, add the sliced fennel and mushrooms.

Turn heat down to medium and saute until fennel begins to brown and mushrooms soften (4-5 minutes).

Meanwhile, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper.

Remove the fennel and mushrooms to a plate and add the rest of the butter to the skillet. Pour the eggs into the skillet once the butter is sizzling and tilt the pan to distribute the eggs evenly. I cover my skillet with a lid to speed cooking, otherwise, or in any case, cook until the top of the omelet sets. Alternatively, flip the omelet if you dare.

Once the eggs are set but before they dry out, add the fennel, mushrooms, and cheese (if using) to one side of the omelet. Fold the other half over, and if using an electric range, turn off the burner and let it sit until the cheese melts. Slide the omelet onto a plate, garnish with fennel sprigs, cut it in half and serve.

Baby red potatoes cooked in olive oil on a skillet make a nice accompaniment. As does fresh fruit.





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