If you have visited the Bethesda or Pike Central Farm Markets you have seen it – the bright, big orange truck with the words “The Culinary Nomad” painted on the side. If you haven’t ventured over to the truck yet, make a point to do that, because you are in for a treat. There are people that come to our markets just to get their usual weekend morning breakfasts. Whether your favorite is the Southwest Chicken Sliders (watch out- they’re addictive!), or the legendary “Hot Mess,” there is something for everyone at this gourmet food truck.
Valerie Logan loved food from a very young age. Her early years consisted of entire days revolving around dinner preparation; her punishment was shucking corn and every weekend her dad made breakfast for the family. She says her grandma specialized in “making the kind of Southern food you needed to prep your body for and nap for after eating.” Valerie’s love for food took her straight from high school to culinary school in Arizona. Valerie stayed with the family of one of her classmates in Arizona, which is where she discovered her love for Southwestern style cooking.
Valerie, with the help of her now-husband, David, and her parents Debbie and Lewis Hoover formulated an idea that turned into The Culinary Nomad food truck. Valerie knew that she wanted to serve great Southwestern food and she had a brand ready to go. Getting the truck was the next step. Once she acquired her refurbished work van, she and The Culinary Nomad joined Central Farm Markets.
Valerie specializes in cooking Southwestern breakfast dishes. Every week, market patrons come to delight in her regular menu items, as well as her weekly market specials. She uses as many fresh market ingredients as possible to feature and support other vendors. Debbie takes orders and schmoozes with the patrons, Lewis handles the orders, and Valerie’s father runs the frying station – it’s a family affair! Valerie says being in the truck is like being on a stage. It allows her to feed quality food to her customers while paying homage to the influential people in her life.
I asked Valerie to come up with a recipe for our blog. I wanted it to have that “Culinary Nomad” signature touch, but still work with the seasonal-based recipes that I like to share with my readers. What she came up with was a single-serving omelet with a grapefruit salad that I turned into a frittata recipe. The great thing about this recipe is that you can swap out the kale for any greens (such as spinach or chard), the honey mushrooms for mushrooms of your choice, and the green garlic for leeks or green onions. Be creative and make it yours!
Culinary Nomad Frittata with Grapefruit Salad
- 8 eggs (Liberty Delight Farms)
- ½ tsp. truffle salt (All Things Olive)
- 1/3-cup ricotta (Blue Ridge Dairy Co.)
- 2 oz. farmhouse Muenster, grated (Stonyman Gourmet Farmer)
- 3 Tbsp. butter (Springfield Farm)
- 4 oz. honey mushrooms, coarsely chopped (The Mushroom Stand)
- 3 stalks green garlic (Twin Springs Fruit Farm)
- 3 cups chopped kale (Two Acre Farm)
- Baguette (Upper Crust Breads – Farm Market Bakery)
- 4 cups salad mix (Young Harvests)
- 3 Tbsp. grapefruit oil (All Things Olive)
- 2 large grapefruits, cut into wedges
- 2 Tbsp. grapefruit juice (from cutting the grapefruit)
- Truffle salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Whisk together eggs, truffle salt, ricotta, and grated cheese. Set aside.
Trim off the bottom root and rough tops of green garlic. Chop remaining garlic into thin slices and separate the top part of the garlic from the bottom.
Use butter to heat a large cast iron skillet or oven safe pan to medium heat. Add mushrooms and bottoms of green garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tops of green garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Stir kale into egg mixture and add mixture to pan. Place the pan in the middle rack of your oven. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the eggs have set.
Remove from oven and let rest while you prepare the salad.
Whisk together grapefruit oil, grapefruit Juice, truffle salt, and pepper. Toss over greens to coat. Plate salad with grapefruit wedges. Serve on the side of a slice of the frittata with a piece of toasted baguette.