It’s like everyday feels like Christmas around here. Well, maybe Easter would be a better metaphor, but I don’t like Easter as much. Since last summer when I acquired my first chickens (more about that in a minute), I’ve never tired of opening the coop door to find a little present waiting in the nesting box.
When I wrote a letter to the sellers trying to secure my offer on this house, I told them how nicely they had updated it, how I loved the neighborhood, and how, at the risk of becoming a Ballard cliche, I wanted to raise some chickens in their yard. Somewhere between skinny jeans and mountain-man beards, chickens became a marker of the Seattle hipster. But I don’t mind jumping on this bandwagon because it means I get fresh eggs from my backyard. Every day. Well, almost.
My first two chickens were named Blanche and Lola. Blanche laid slightly elongated blue eggs and Lola petite brown ones. One day I returned home from work and discovered that Blanche and Lola had officially met my Goldendoodle puppy, Luka. Being the friendly breed that he is, Luka thought he would take them on a tour of the yard and play with them a little. I’m pretty sure he enjoyed it more than they did. Well, I know he did, actually, because they died.
My next two chickens were Betty and June. Betty laid thin-shelled, watery brown eggs until she succumbed to some sort of unknown chicken-distemper a few weeks later. June, to this day, has not laid a single egg.
Which brings us to Norma. Norma is a Cuckoo Maran and plops out perfect brown eggs like clockwork (though she does seem to like to take one day off a week. A girl’s gotta rest.) I love having fresh eggs on the counter tempting me make a batch of muffins, a dinner scramble, or a breakfast hash.
My philosophy of eating operates under one pretty simple principle: eat as many fruits and vegetables as you can. Shove them in anywhere you find room. Man, by the time I have kids I'm going to be a pro at hiding vegetables in every dish. This also means you have to eat less of all the other things to give yourself space to fill up with these fibrous, healthy foods. Take out the starch and double the vegetables instead. Fill your dessert plate with fruit and then add chocolate. Instead of making an egg and toast for breakfast, I often make this dish instead. (Realistically, I eat granola for breakfast most mornings, but when I do cook breakfast, it looks like this).
You can make this with any vegetables you have on hand. I pulled some kale, basil, tomatoes and an onion from my garden, and added a white bell pepper I picked up at the farmers market. Zucchini would also work well or even some grated potato. I usually start with kale as the base and work from there.
Take these as a starting place and know that you can put whatever you want in (or on) this hash.
Several stalks kale, chopped finely, like a chiffonade
Half an onion, finely sliced or diced
Other vegetables chopped up to sauté (I added 1/2 a bell pepper, but often use zucchini)
1 egg per person
Fresh veggies like tomatoes and avocado for topping
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Sauté the onion in olive oil in a large frying pan. Season this dish as you go; don’t wait ’til the end to add salt and pepper. I seasoned the onions, the kale, the egg, and then added a bit more once everything was cooked.
2. Once the onion has softened, add the kale and other veggies. Cook until they have released some of their water but have not lost their color or turned soggy. 5 minutes maybe.
3. In the same frying pan (fewer things to wash), create some space and crack an egg. I like mine cooked on both sides, but you could do sunny side up if you prefer.
4. Transfer the hash to a plate and top with the fried egg. Add avocado slices, fresh tomatoes, chopped basil, grated parmesan and hot sauce.