Not surprisingly, Mother’s day felt both more important and more all-consuming this year now that I am a mom. The wife and I strolled around town with O in tow receiving many happy greetings – I have to say it was pretty lovely. Add in Face-Timing with our moms (O’s grandmamas) and seeing all the Facebook photos of my friends and their moms, it was festive and love-festy.
We hadn’t really considered big plans for Mother’s Day – except to clear the calendar to be together. And making a nice brunch for ourselves – something that it turns out is a big plan when you have a baby. And then I stumbled on a recipe that made it all even more special.
We made green eggs and ham.
Green eggs and ham is a kind of religion for the Wife. At least, it’s one of her guiding philosophies on life. Don’t judge before you understand and give it a try at least once. It’s a book we have enthusiastically taken out to read to O (though it’s a bit long for the infant attention span, it turns out), and it’s the philosophy we hope to impart to him when it comes to learning new foods (you have to take at least 3 bites before deciding if you like it) and new things, in general.
As it turns out, green eggs and ham has also been a guidepost for us as parents. We had lots of ideas and Beliefs (capital B) coming into mamahood together. One could say judgments, too. And while some things have proven out (see: routines), many others have taken trial and error and learning and surprise. And it’s in the learning and the surprises – as well as the trial and indeed the error – that some of the best moments have happened. From the surprise of childbirth being better than the end of pregnancy, to breastfeeding not clicking in the beginning, to giving up my fantasies of nursing while out and about in town, to learning how the wife and I relate to each other as partners and co-parents, to re-adjusting our approach to sleep when the 4 month regression hit us all HARD. And many more lessons and surprises. Indeed, the surprises have been the best parts.
So in the end this year we celebrated these surprises and our partnership in this adventure of mamahood together. Also – we learned a new recipe! This brunch was fantastic and we now have pesto for at least 2 dinners this week.
Recipe for Green Eggs & Ham:
Servings:1 sandwich and 2 cups pesto
For the arugula pesto
5 ounces baby arugula
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1-2 tablespoons water, as needed
For the sandwich
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large egg
2 thin slices prosciutto or Serrano ham
2 tablespoons arugula pesto
slices of country bread, cut 1 1/2 inches thick and toasted
For the pesto
- Place the arugula in a bowl of ice water and set aside to soak briefly, at least 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the oil, half of the pine nuts, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until the mixture is very smooth.
- Drain the soaked arugula, shake off excess water but don’t pat dry (you want some of that water in the pesto) and add to the food processor. Pulse until the arugula is just incorporated, about 5 pulses.
- Add the cheese and remaining pine nuts, season well with salt, and pulse a few times to break up the pine nuts and mix in the seasoning. (If the mixture is very thick, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.) Taste the pesto and adjust the seasoning as desired.
For the sandwich
- Heat the oil in a small nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat.
- When it shimmers, crack the egg into the pan and cook until set on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Using a nonstick spatula, carefully turn the egg over and cook until just set, about 1 more minute.
- Remove to a plate. Add the prosciutto to the pan and cook until just crisp, about 1 minute.
- Spread the pesto on the toasted bread, top with egg and prosciutto and serve.