Rif Mountain Omelet With Wild Mushrooms

After a soggy winter's morning hunting mushrooms in the cork- and pine-covered Rif Mountains with a couple of locals guides, my family and I returned to a rural lodged called Auberge Darara with owner Jaber El Habibi. Our wicker baskets brimmed with three of the three dozen varieties of edible wild mushrooms found in the nearby hills: chanterelles, meaty cepes (porcini) with yellow-tinted undercaps, and a type of coral Ramaria the size of cauliflower and the color of wet hay. We happily passed the spoils to the chef.

As the omelets need to be individually cooked, instructions below are given for a single wide, thin omelet. If preparing more than one, saute the mushrooms by variety but cook the omelets individually.

Rif Mountain Omelet With Wild Mushrooms
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  • 1/2 pound wild mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano or za'atar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  1. Keeping the mushroom varieties separate, brush them clean. Fill a bowl with water. Quickly dunk the mushrooms in a few changes of water just before cooking.
  2. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Quarter or slice the mushrooms depending on their shape. 
  3. In a 10-inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until smoking. Add one mushroom variety, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and quickly saute until the edges are golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Transter to a plate.
  4. Add another 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan and saute the second mushroom variety. Repeat if needed for a third variety. 
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until spongy. Stir in the 1 tablespon oregano and a pinch of salt. Add three-fourths of the mushroom and turn to coat. Gently crush the garlic under the heel of your palm or the side of a heavy knife. 
  6. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the garlic to the pan and cook over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove the garlic and reserve. 
  7. Pour the egg mixture into the pan. Immediately swirl the pan for a few seconds to keep the mixture from sticking as the eggs begin to set.
  8. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon parsley over the top and season with salt and pepper. Place the bay leaf in the center. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the bottom is golden and the omelet is set but still moist, 2 to 3 minutes. Do not turn or stir the eggs, only swirl the pan from time to time to keep the omelet from sticking. 
  9. Loosen the omelet with a thick spatula if necessary and slide onto a large, flat plate. Scatter the remaining mushrooms over the top along with a pinch of parsley and some oregano. Top with the reserved garlic clove, drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately. 
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