I was recently given copy of Jane Grigson’s English Food, as regular readers will know I have a very high opinion of both her recipes and her writing (the interspersing of history and personal anecdotes is much imitated but never matched). English Food was first published 1974, but I have the 1992 edition, which contains both a new introduction by her daughter Sophie Grigson, as well as a caustic introduction from the 1978 edition, in which she rails against the loss of cooking skills, bland convenience food and patronising food writers.
Omelettes were one of the first things I learned to make and of course all my early attempts were horrific. Now I can make them (the way I like them) on autopilot, likwise frittata, tortilla and even occasionally pajeon.
375g (12oz) cooked and trimmed asparagus
2 tablespoons grated Gruyere cheese
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley, chives
Set aside a few of the best stalks of the asparagus to decorate the dish. Keep the rest warm in the oven – dot the asparagus spears with butter and sprinkle them with cheese, then put a foil covering over them. Tome make the omelette, beat the eggs vigorously until not a trace of white remains – this should not take long. Add seasoning and a tablespoon of chopped herbs.
Unless you are used to making omelettes, you will find it easier to make three, rather than one large one. And f all you have is a 20cm/8inch omelette pan, then you will have no choice n the matter. Heat the pan, run a small knob of butter over it, then pour in a third of the mixture, Allow it to set firm beneath, and brown a little, before placing a third of the asparagus across the centre which should be slightly liquid. Flip the omelette in half, slide on to a serving dish and make the remainng omelettes as quickly as possible. It follows that the omelette cooked first should be really moist in the middle, as it has to wait around for the next two to be cooked, and it will go on cooking in its own heat.
Put the reserved asparagus around the omelettes and serve immediately.
This recipe serves six, if you also serve it with (I assume) bread and a salad, I did not. I used about 125g of asparagus and added 2 extra egg whites I had them fridge (so my omlette contained 2 whole eggs and 2 whites). I used manchego instead of gruyere. I used chives only, and some of them may have been grass.
There was no way I wasn’t going enjoy this as it contains all my favourite things, including enough cheese to run out one end. Although I sometimes eat asparagus instead of toast soldiers with a soft-boiled egg (an idea picked up from the Guardian years ago), I had never thought to lay some full-length spears in an omelette. The grassy flavour of the asparagus is increased by cooking in water and then complemented by the egg and cheese – highly recommended.
Omeletted by Elly