There is a part of Los Angeles that is very difficult to find if you haven’t grown up there. It’s a part that doesn’t involve entertainment or beaches or food. It’s actually more of a feeling, a sense of history and place and belonging. I think it can only be experienced if you’ve gone through the public school system. It’s the understanding of California’s rich and rather short history (as California). It’s the history of the indians that lived there, the Chumash who mainly dominated Southern California and the arrival of the Spanish who built 21 Missions and forced the native americans to work on what were essentially plantations.
There are some things you never, ever forget. By my house in Laurel Canyon there was a reservoir called the Sooky Goldman Nature Center (it’s right off Mullholland Drive…you may have heard of that). And while on a 2nd grade field trip to Sooky Goldman Nature Center, I was introduced to “Cowboy Cologne” or as I now know it, sage.
Sage makes its appearance in restaurants most often with ravioli and a brown butter sauce. Alone it has a very earthy hippie and almost patchouli-like smell. But don’t let that scare you off, when sage is fried with butter, or in this case, eggs and cheese, it’s got this wonderful burst of fragrance. This dish is also based on the sage scramble from 5 Leaves restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. While it’s a wildly popular and trendy spot, I will always think of it as “our place.” That is, when my friend Alex and I first discovered it when we moved to Brooklyn so long ago. Five Leaves adds some enchanted mayonnaise and serves it on a Sullivan St. bakery roll, but I think this one will delight the sense just fine. And it’s devilishly good with a mimosa.
*Can we talk about eggs for a moment? We’re all adults here. It’s time to stop buying the $1.99 Grade AA bargain eggs. They just don’t taste very good and aren’t very good for you either. The yolks are this strange big bird yellow and you need to add about a gallon of salt to make the whites taste like anything. Moral of the story: buy the expensive $4.99 eggs that are organic, cage free and hormone-free. There’s a great breed of chicken called Ameraucana that produces green, brown and white eggs that can be found in many supermarkets. I’m not saying you always have to splurge, but if you’re making scrambled eggs, buy eggs, not those pure white spheres that come in Styrofoam.
Also, when you’re making eggs, use butter…never olive oil.
You will need:
4 large eggs *see note above
1/4 cup whole organic milk
6 sage leaves, chopped finely
1/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese
1 Tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon butter
salt and pepper
1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs together vigorously and add the milk and a pinch of salt and pepper.
2. Make sure your cheese is already grated and your sage is already chopped and near you. Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat. After two minutes the pan should be hot. Add the butter and coat the pan using a wooden spoon, it should sizzle.
3. Add the eggs, wait 5 seconds, then using the spoon, scramble them making a spiral from the center. After 20 seconds, add the cheese and sage and continue scrambling with the spoon. The eggs should cook for no more than 2 minutes and should be just barely runny. Don’t over-cook them. When they still look runny but almost done, turn off the flame. Serve immediately.