I grew up in the idyllic northern Italian countryside where breakfast was made up of day old bread soaked in warm milk darkened with a dash of espresso. As the child of adventurous American parents living in Europe, I had the luck of experiencing all kinds of cultures and traditions in the kitchen. One of my favorite moments was Sunday; a lazy day with no obligations where pancakes and omelettes in many variations would make their way to the table. Life’s path brought me later to the Netherlands. The food traditions of the low lands have most definitely made their way into my kitchen repertoire. Food is my passion, not because of necessity but because it weaves daily experience into a tapestry of life’s memories. The following recipe is a mix and match of a simple Italian approach to cooking a two-egg omelette made with the recognizably Dutch flavors of nutmeg and asparagus paired with lemon peel and thick yoghurt.
- a handful of small fresh green asparagus
- 1 organic lemon
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 organic eggs
- a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- nutmeg for grating
- 6 fresh lovage leaves
- or a scattering of fresh garden herbs
- 1 tablespoon of thick Turkish or Greek yoghurt
Heat a non-stick frying pan on high heat. Wash the asparagus. Cut off the two inches from the root. Peel the asparagus with a vegetable peeler to half the stalk if needed. If using thick asparagus, cut them in half lengthwise. Lay the asparagus on the hot skillet and grill them a two minutes until lightly browned at the edges. Turn the heat to low for the skillet for use in preparing the omelette.
Meanwhile scrub the lemon. Grate the lemon peel with a zester into thin yellow curls. Make a quick marinade for the asparagus by squeezing the juice of half the lemon into a bowl, adding a pinch of sea salt and two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Stir well. Lay the warm asparagus in the marinade while preparing the omelette and let it soak up the lemony juices.
Meanwhile make a lemon-herb yoghurt by mixing half the lemon peel and a scattering of fresh herbs like lovage and fresh oregano into the thick Turkish yoghurt. Set both the yoghurt and asparagus aside and prepare for baking a simple, silky omelette.
Break two eggs into a bowl and whisk them until the white and yolk are fully incorporated. Grate some fresh nutmeg into the eggs and season with sea salt and pepper. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil into the skillet and tilt the pan to spread it evenly. Pour the eggs into the skillet and quickly swirl the mixture to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook the omelette at low heat just about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat and let the omelette set a moment before carefully lifting it from the pan with a spatula on to a large plate.
Layer the green asparagus along the half the omelette. Season the season with some freshly grated nutmeg and pepper. Scatter some lemon peel and fresh herbs over the asparagus like fresh lovage and oregano, or simply use some parsley and chives. Fold the omelette in half. Dollop the lemon herb yoghurt on top and bring your lovely fresh omelette to your family table.
I love to serve this omelette as is for breakfast, lunch or a fast late-day dinner. Add a tossed salad of grated carrots and radishes for color and crunch. Put a wedge of local cheese on the dinner table and enjoy the happiness of good food.
I was inspired by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution recipes in the creation of this dish.