Carrots, shallots, mushrooms, and eggs. Sounds simple enough, but it really doesn’t describe the harmony these four basic ingredients — which are very easy to keep in your fridge at pretty much all times — take on together.
The hardest part of this simple dish, like so many others, is dicing. The better you are with a knife, the less time everything takes. Getting comfortable with your workhorse knife vastly increases the pleasure of cooking, because fine dicing ceases to become a chore and more of a joy. Practice, people! It only takes a few hundred hours to get good, as opposed to the 10,000 hours Malcolm Gladwell says it takes to get REALLY good at something, like golfing or playing the cello. So this is a great dish to practice, and your family will exalt you for your efforts.
Dice up about a cup of carrots (I used yellow and purple ones in the photo above), and about half that amount of shallot and mushroom (I like criminis here, but any mushroom will do). Saute in a cast iron (or other) pan with some ghee or butter or olive oil (or combo of those three), stirring often. For extra umami, sprinkle on a big pinch of pulverized shiitake. When everything is soft, crack four of the best eggs you can find over the veggies. By now it’s almost a cliche to recommend quality ingredients, but this is ridiculously true with eggs: spend more, get some chickens, befriend your chicken-keeping neighbors — do whatever you have to do to get seriously great and fresh eggs. You’ll be amazed at the difference in color, texture, and taste.
Then pour a little liquid into the pan. You can use stock, carrot juice, orange juice, wine, water, whatever. Quickly cover the dish and let the eggs steam-cook in all that flavor. Finish off with a good pinch of pepper and good salt (herb salt is very nice here, as is lavender salt). When the yolks have largely set, but are still a tad liquidy, it’s done. Finish with some garlic chives, or whatever herb you like/have. Time your toast and coffee (get those ready after you chop the veggies), warm your plates, get the newspaper, and get ready for a seriously pleasant, and energizing, breakfast.