The asparagus-like flavor of young fireweed stalks (Epilobium), whose magenta flower spikes later enhance thousands of square miles of scorched wilderness from Mexico to Greenland and the Aleutians, combines delicately with that of fresh eggs. For enough to serve two hungry vacationers, you’ll want 2 cups of these, cut into 1-inch sections. Use only the tenderest portions, gathered well before the silken flight of fireweed floss covers the countryside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy frypan until they start to tan. Add the fireweed and stir for 3 minutes. Then pour in a cup of boiling water, cover, and simmer for about 3 more minutes or until a fork can be easily inserted in the larger of the segments. Do not let the green become mushy, however.
Have 6 fresh, well-beaten eggs seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and mixed with 1/2 cup of newly grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of fine, dry, white bread crumbs. Stir into the bubbling mixture in the frypan. Lower the heat. Continue mixing gently for several minutes until the eggs are creamy.
Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of chopped water cress. Strew with vitamin-teeming paprika. Serve immediately on warm plates, along with hot garlic toast yellow with butter.