Perfecting the French Omelette

Accompanied by grated carrot and tarragon salad.

Perfecting the French Omelette

I like my omelettes on the soft side, which can be hard to find in the U.S., but easy to make if you pay attention to a few key rules:

  1. Get your ingredients ready beforehand
  2. Do not be stingy with butter
  3. Be patient, and then be quick
  4. Keep the fillings simple and minimal

I’m pretty good at numbers 1-3, but tend to have difficulty with number 4 because I get too excited about adding all kinds of ingredients. What happens when you do this is the egg can’t fold over the ingredients properly and/or you have to cook the omelet longer to ensure the ingredients on the inside are properly cooked. This leads to a broken and/or overcooked (read spongy/tough/sulfur-smelling) omelette. This is a shame because, if done properly, omelettes can be incredibly a delicate, luscious, and silky backdrop for a few flavorful ingredients - in this case, I used very fresh, thinly sliced zucchini, comté, and finished it with a sprinkling of herbs de provence. Makes 2 small omelettes.

  • 3 large very fresh eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons good quality butter
  • 1 medium zucchini, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 ounce comté, gruyere, or other cheese, chopped or grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon herbs de provence

Have all of your ingredients out and ready next to the stove. Whisk eggs with milk and a few dashes of salt and pepper.

Heat about 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pan (non stick makes it easier) on medium low. Add one half of egg mixture, topping one side with one half of zucchini and cheese. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, until the reverse side begins to become firm.

While top of omelet is still wet, flip side with the toppings over onto 1/2 of of the other piece of omelet and then fold over the remaining third (similar to folding a piece of paper). Cook for another 30 seconds.

Once the bottom is firm enough, flip the entire omelet over and cook for another 20-30 seconds- do not overcook!

Remove from pan when firm, but still wet and slightly soft. Repeat with remaining egg mixture, zucchini, and cheese. Top with herbs de provence and serve with grated carrot salad (see below).

Grated carrot and tarragon salad accompaniment

  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 tablespoon golden raisins, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt

Toss carrot with raisins and tarragon.

Whisk mustard with olive oil and lemon and add in salt to taste (it shouldn’t take much, as mustard is salty). Toss into grated carrot mixture and serve cold or room temperature.