[cliccare il link per andare alla versione in italiano]
Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson called out at me from a table at a library book sale and just like the country in which is it set, Norway, it grabbed me immediately. The sky, the woods, the water, everything is expansive in Norway, majestic, yet quiet. Petterson's prose is like that. Life's familiar themes—friendship, love, loss, betrayal, coming of age, aging—play a role in the story of Trond Sander, the 67-year-old protagonist.
I imagined to be sitting in front of a fireplace or wood-burning stove on a long Norwegian winter's night, listening to the narrator, Trond himself, tell his life's story slowly and methodically, the way he does things in and around his cabin in the woods. Even when he describes episodes that are emotionally intense, Trond's tone remains calm, but the pain of his losses is quite visible just under the surface.
I didn't read the novel in one sitting, but the image of Trond spending the last portion of his life living alone (his wife had died in a car accident from which he emerged unscathed three years before the story starts) haunted me. The novel describes in details what Trond does during his days: getting up, getting dressed, making coffee, walking his dog Lyra, reading. He puts on a white shirt to eat dinner, because
It is important not to be careless about supper when you are alone. It is easily done boring as it is to cook for one person only. There must be... no sitting down in your working clothes.
While I love the aroma of celery and use it to make soffritto, until recently I hadn't looked at it as an ingredient on its own. One morning, thinking also about Trond, I decided to make it the protagonist of an omelette for one. The result was a variation on a classic that was appreciated at the table, so it has been served often for breakfast (colazione) ever since. It is a quick and easy dish to prepare, and nutritious, perfect for Trond especially on a morning when he plans to do some intense physical work to get his cabin in shape for the fast approaching winter. Of course, the recipe can easily be doubled if there are other people at the table (like Trond's neighbor, Lars, or his eldest daughter, Ellen).
Print-friendly version of briciole's recipe for Celery omelette
- 1 teaspoon / 5 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons / 10 g unsalted butter, divided in half
- 60 g celery, diced small
- 1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 2 large eggs, possibly pastured
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml water
- 2 small pinches of sea salt
- 1/4 ounce / 7 g Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
Heat up the olive oil and half the butter on medium heat in a 8 1/2 inch / 21.5 cm skillet. Add the celery, stir well and turn down the heat to medium-low. Sprinkle the paprika on the celery and stir. Continue cooking for 5-6 minutes stirring often.
In the meantime, break the eggs into a small bowl and whisk lightly to blend yolks and whites. Add the water and a small pinch of sea salt and whisk lightly to blend.
Add the remaining butter to the celery and swirl it around the skillet. Pour the eggs into the skillet (use a soft spatula to scrape every last drop from the bowl) and move the celery around to ensure it is distribute evenly.
Cook on gentle heat until the surface is almost set.
Sprinkle the cheese on the surface, then with a spatula, lift the omelette on one side and fold it into half onto the other side.
Remove the skillet from the heat, plate the omelette and serve immediately.
In the top photo, the omelette is topped with mashed avocado, the way my husband likes to eat it. In the photo below, it is shown plain with a side of seed crackers, a recent addition to our table of which we are both fond. You will find the recipe in the previous post: gluten-free seed crackers.
After reading Out Stealing Horses I will definitely look for other novels by Per Petterson. And I will continue my habit of visiting library sales: I always find interesting books there.
1 A review of the book in the New York Times
2 Wikipedia entry for Per Petterson
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the omelette con sedano audio file [mp3].
[Depending on your set-up, the audio file will be played within the browser or by your mp3 player application. Please, contact me if you encounter any problems.]
This is my contribution to the 27th edition of Novel Food, the literary/culinary event that Lisa of Champaign Taste and I started some time ago and that I continue to host.
FTC disclosure: I have received the linen free of charge from the manufacturer (la FABBRICA del LINO). I have not and will not receive any monetary compensation for presenting it on my blog. The experience shared and the opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.
omelette, celery, eggs, breakfast, gluten free
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omelette con sedano
Questa omelette è stata ispirata dal romanzo Fuori a rubar cavalli dello scrittore norvegese Per Petterson1. Se state facendo la lista dei libri da leggere in vacanza, vi consiglio di aggiungerlo.
Mi piace l'aroma del sedano e lo uso nel soffritto ma fino a poco tempo fa non lo consideravo un ingrediente capace di fare da protagonista. Una mattina ho deciso di usarlo per fare un'omelette e il risultato è stato apprezzato a tavola e da quel giorno questa omelette, facile e veloce da preparare, appare spesso sul menu della colazione.
- 1 cucchiaino / 5 ml olio extra vergine d'oliva
- 10 g burro, diviso a metà
- 60 g sedano tagliato a dadini
- 1/8 cucchiaino paprika dolce
- 2 uova codice 0
- 1 cucchiaio / 15 ml acqua
- 2 pizzichini di sale fino
- 7 g Parmigiano-Reggiano grattugiato fresco
Scaldare a fuoco medio l'olio e metà del burro in una padellina di 21,5 cm di diametro. Aggiungere il sedano, mescolare bene e abbassare il calore a medio-basso. Distribuire la paprika sul sedano e mescolare. Continuare a cuocere per 5-6 minuti mescolando spesso.
Nel frattempo rompere le uova in una ciotolina e sbattere leggermente per mischiare tuorli ed albumi. Aggiungere l'acqua e un pizzichino di sale e sbattere leggermente per mischiare.
Aggiungere il resto del burro e farlo girare per distribuirlo sul fondo. Versare le uova nella padellina (pulire bene la ciotolina con l'aiuto di una spatola morbida) e muovere il sedano in modo che sia distribuito in modo uniforme.
Cuocere a fuoco dolce fino a quando la superficie sia quasi rappresa.
Distribuire il formaggio sulla superficie e poi con una spatola sollevare un lato dell'omelette e piegare l'omelette a metà.
Togliere la padellina dal fuoco, impiattare l'omelette e servire immediatamente.
Nella foto in alto l'omelette è presentata con dell'avocado schiacciato spalmato sopra, come piace a mio marito. Nella foto in basso è presentata con i cracker di semi (senza glutine) descritti nel post precedente.
Questa omelette è stata ispirata dal romanzo Fuori a rubar cavalli dello scrittore norvegese Per Petterson1.
FTC disclosure: Ho ricevuto la tovaglia gratuitamente dall'azienda produttrice (la FABBRICA del LINO). Non ho ricevuto e non riceverò alcun compenso per presentarla sul mio blog. Le opinioni espresse nel post sono interamente personali.
Like you, I often overlook celery except as a component of a soffritto. It's astringency can be very refreshing. It deserves better!
Posted by: Frank | June 15, 2016 at 04:54 AM
I agree, Frank, and that's why I am experimenting with it.
Posted by: Simona Carini | June 20, 2016 at 10:26 PM
I've been having trouble with celery here, as the organic ones I buy seem to be tough, and not too amenable to using fresh. Though in cooking, after lots of de-stringing not too bad. I'd never have thought of using it in an omelet.
Posted by: Claudia | June 26, 2016 at 04:05 PM
I really like celery but I never thought of using it in an omelet before-I don't know why not?! It looks delicious--especially with the mashed avocado on top. ;-)
It sounds like an interesting book too--I have not read many books set in Norway and I think I would find the details of his life there absorbing.
Posted by: Deb in Hawaii | July 07, 2016 at 04:51 PM
Have you thought about growing it in your garden? I honestly have no idea how difficult it is to do so. Having to buy a large amount at a time makes one think about various ways of using it. It has happened to me in the past to discard celery that had become too old and I don't like that. I also like the idea of moving to the foreground a vegetable that is usually in the background.
Posted by: Simona Carini | July 08, 2016 at 12:00 PM
We are lucky to have easy access to good avocados: they seem to be able to bring up a notch any dish to which they are added. It is a really nice book and am now looking forward to reading more from the same author.
Posted by: Simona Carini | July 08, 2016 at 12:03 PM
Fantastic recipe, I never thought to use celery in an omelette! I have made this twice already now and will make it regularly, thank you so much for sharing :)
Posted by: Anu | March 20, 2020 at 06:38 AM
Thank you so much for your comment, Anu. I am glad to know you enjoyed the recipe :)
Posted by: Simona Carini | March 21, 2020 at 09:58 PM