I always thought that a garden on a 10th floor balcony would be protected from squirrels. But no. Even though we have only a few small plants, squirrels are willing to climb the 10 stories for a shot at some organic vegetables. I always knew squirrels were serious about their health and diets and had high standards for local produce, but this is a little much. My wife planted garlic chives and marigolds, which actually repel them.
But because we made such efforts to protect our crop, I find myself savoring every bit of produce we get from our tiny garden and making sure nothing goes to waste. Now and then we have some extra herbs and vegetables that are more than we need for dinner. Sometimes there are extra eggplants or hot peppers but most often, we have extra cherry tomatoes and basil. They are of course good on their own or in pasta but if they need to be eaten the next morning, they work well in omelettes.
There is something energizing about having such fresh herbs and vegetables in the morning and there are very good local eggs available all over now. I’ve also been cooking with crème fraiche from Ronnybrook Farms. (I love the crème fraiche from VT Butter and Cheese Company as well). It’s tangy and rich and works really well with the bright taste of fresh tomato. Obviously, there are endless combinations of fillings that work here but I find this to be the most simple and satisfying. It works.
Omelette with Balcony Tomatoes and Basil ($2.50/serving)
In a small cast iron skillet, heat 1.5 teaspoons of butter and a teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat
Beat 3 eggs together with a pinch of salt and pepper
Pour egg mixture in skillet and let cook for about a minute
When bottom of omlette just starts to firm up, spoon two teaspoons of crème fraiche into middle of egg mixture
Cook for another 30 seconds or so and add a few halved cherry tomatoes and some basil leaves
Fold omlette and plate with some extra basil leaves on the top.
Check balcony for squirrels.