How to make an endlessly versatile omelette that is perfect for picnics
Kitchen Cabinet: Bríd Torrades’s omelette recipe is based on a Spanish tortilla
Egg-based dishes are reliably delicious and nutritious. File photograph: iStock
Since the Covid-19 lockdown started, we have been receiving regular texts from our lovely neighbours (thank you Seanie and Elaine) to say that they have left out fresh eggs for us to pick up when we pass by on our daily walk. What a treat! This means that there is always something delicious and nutritious to eat in the house without having to face the supermarket.
This recipe is based on the Spanish tortilla and it is so flexible – all the ingredients, apart from the eggs, can be omitted or replaced. If you have access to a wild garden you might be able to collect some nettles, ground elder, wild garlic or sorrel to include in the omelette for some extra, cost-free nutrition.
The trick with this is to cook the vegetables that take the longest first. After everything is cooked through, add the eggs, which don’t take long, at the end.
You might need to add salt to the recipe if you are not using bacon or salty cheese.
Bríd Torrades is chef owner of Osta Cafe and Wine Bar in Sligo.
Serves four to six as a starter or light main dish
4 tbsp olive oil
400g potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 or 2 onions or shallots, thinly sliced
4 rashers of rindless bacon, back or streaky, chopped – I used Andarl Farm streaky bacon, available from www.andarlfarm.ie. Smoked bacon will give another depth of flavour if you have it. And, of course, if you don’t eat pork just leave it out
Some sliced courgettes and peppers (use whatever vegetables you have to hand; celery and leek are good, if you have them)
6- 10 large eggs
100g hard cheese, grated (my current favourite is Barr Rua, available online from doziocheese.ie. I also love smoked Gubbeen or smoked Drumlin)
Handful of chopped fresh parsley
1. Heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. Gently heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof pan.
3. Add the potatoes and gently fry, making sure they don’t stick. After about three minutes add the shallots or onions (and celery or leek). Add the chopped bacon and gently mix and spread everything across the pan. Put the pan in the oven, checking to see that everything is cooking evenly.
4. When the potatoes are almost soft, add the pepper and return the pan to the oven for five minutes, and then repeat with the courgette. (If you have chopped up nettle leaves, young ground elder, wild garlic leaves, or even spinach, add these when you are adding the eggs and cheese.)
5. While the vegetables are cooking, grate the cheese into a large bowl. Add the chopped parsley and break in the eggs. Mix and leave ready to add to the pan when all the vegetables are soft.
6. Add the eggs to the vegetables, mix very well, making sure that nothing is stuck on the bottom of the pan, and return to the oven for about 10 minutes.
7. Turn the omelette out onto a large plate or chopping board and then flip it onto a serving plate. Eat warm or cold. It is ideal for a picnic and travels easily.
Kitchen Cabinet is a series of recipes from chefs who are members of Euro-Toques Ireland who have come together during the coronavirus outbreak to share some of the easy, tasty things that they like to cook and eat at home #ChefsAtHome