Saturday brunch with oatmeal waffles, omelets and more

Today’s version of our weekly ritual included oatmeal-whole wheat waffles, a spinach-cheese omelet, a nice fresh mixed-green salad, a few of our homemade olives, and, of course, coffee from David’s Coffee at 49 Levinsky, my favorite coffee roaster.

SPINACH-CHEESE OMELET

This three-egg omelet makes a nice serving for two. I used about 1 1/2-2 cups fresh spinach, 2 tablespoons each of fresh parsley, chives and basil, 3/4 cups Bulgarian cheese, 2 tablespoons purple onion, a garlic clove, butter for frying, and salt and pepper. (For the non-Israelis, Bulgarian cheese is a young, white cheese made from cow’s milk with the consistency of feta, but usually a little less salty.)

Chop all the greens and mix them with the eggs. The eggs should just coat the mixture, but don’t worry, the greens will condense when they cook. Chop the garlic and onion and fry them in a thick-bottomed frying pan with a little butter, until fragrant, and then mix them into the eggs. Add more butter to the pan and pour in the egg mixture, spreading it to cover the bottom of the pan. Top with the crumbled cheese, and once the eggs have started to firm up, fold the omelet onto itself — either one fold down the middle or two folds, one from each side. Let it cook a little more so that the inside firms up. Serve hot

OATMEAL-WHOLE WHEAT WAFFLES

These waffles are relatively dense and dry, due to the whole grains, but they go great with syrup, especially the best maple syrup you have. Not only that, they’re quite filling — you’re not just eating white flour for breakfast. This recipe makes about 10 waffles.

You’ll need, in this order: 1/2 cup butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey, 2 tablespoons baking powder, 1/2-1 teaspoon nutmeg, 3/4 cup oatmeal, 2 eggs, 1 cup white flour, 1 cup milk and 1 cup whole wheat flour.

Melt the butter, and add the sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and oatmeal. The mixture should now be cool enough to add the eggs without cooking them (so add them, too). Start adding the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and add 1/2 cup milk after every cup of flour. This should give you a smooth, consistent batter rather easily. Set it aside to rest for at least 15 minutes, preferably longer, so that the flour and wheat can absorb the liquid. (You can even prepare the batter a day in advance.)

Heat up the waffle iron, and add 1/3 cup of batter to each waffle well (our waffle iron makes waffles about 4 inches square). Close the iron and let it work for 3-4 minutes, until waffles are browned. Serve immediately (we sometimes set it up right by the table, to eat the waffles right as they come out).

For those without a waffle iron: The batter can also be made thinner, in order to make pancakes. Just add an extra 1/2 cup milk.

Regarding my waffle/pancake philosophy: Some people use margarine or oil instead of butter, and water instead of milk. While this will give you the proper texture, it creates a waffle/pancake with less flavor. Go ahead, use the more expensive ingredients; you deserve it.

SALAD SUGGESTION

Today we used lettuce, mixed greens, purple onion, tomato, red pepper and cucumber, and topped it with olive oil and organic balsamic vinaigrette (our souvenir from Italy) at the table. This was a direct factor of the vegetables in our fridge. Of course, everyone has his or her favorite salad ingredients.

Hope this inspires someone to have a great brunch!

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