The One-Egg Omelette Recipe

My favorite kind of cookbook is the kind that provides you with exciting little jolts of “Why didn’t I think of this sooner?” As long as a book generates at least one of those light bulb moments, however tiny, I consider my money well spent.

The one-egg omelet I want to tell you about today is one such brilliant idea, coming from Nikky Duffy’s River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook, a book I really really like.

Geared toward parents of a young child — you’d gathered that much, I’m sure — it begins with a thorough section on how to feed one, which happens to be in line with my own views on this thorny topic*. But the bulk of the book is devoted to recipes designed so you can cook the same thing for the children and the grown-ups in your household, explaining how to adapt the dish to the former and the latter so everyone’s happy.

The River Cafe Baby and Toddler Cookbook
Photography by Georgia Glynn Smith.

It is full of simple, nutritious, yet tempting dishes — courgette polpette, pork and apple hash, spinach and onion puff tart — organized by season, but the one I’ve soonest adopted is a year-round basic she calls the Mini Omelette, which is simply an egg, beaten and cooked undisturbed in a skillet, with or without a touch of cheese and herbs.

This results in a thin little egg crêpe, golden-brown and pliable, that you can use in all manner of ways:

– Cut into strips, or rolled up and sliced, to give to a young child,

– Coated with the spread of your choice (say, beet hummus or peacamole or muhammara), rolled up, and eaten as a lovely snack, or sliced and served as a pretty apéritif nibble, or added to top a green salad,

– Garnished with the ingredients of your choice (especially a crunchy salad such as the Ginger and Dill Cabbage Slaw or the Grated Carrot Salad with Avocado) and use like a tortilla, folded up like a taco,

– Cut into half-moons, to be stuffed and rolled and wolfed down like a temaki.

All of these are very transportable ideas, and since the one-egg omelet can be eaten hot or cold with equal delight, it is your lunch box’s new best friend.

I will note that I don’t use a nonstick skillet for this; in fact, I no longer own a nonstick skillet. What I use for eggs nowadays is this very sturdy, nicely hefty, French-made iron skillet from De Buyer that I bought last year, and is more nonstick the more I use it.

Join the conversation!

What other uses would you dream up for this one-egg omelette? And what’s the latest light bulb moment you got from a cookbook?

One-Egg Omelet

* If you want to get a better idea whether this book is for you, you can read this Q&A with the author.

The One-Egg Omelette Recipe

Prep Time: 1 minute

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 4 minutes

Serves 1.

The One-Egg Omelette Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoon grated cheese, such as Parmesan, Comté, or Gruyère cheese (optional)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, chervil, chives, or tarragon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or other cooking oil

Instructions

  1. Crack the egg into a small cup, add a pinch of salt, and the cheese and/or herbs if using. Beat with a fork to combine -- just a few seconds, or a little longer if you like your omelet a bit more mousse-like.
  2. Heat the oil in a small skillet, about 20 cm (8 inches) in diameter, over medium heat. When the oil is hot (test by sprinkling tiny droplets of water into the skillet; if it sizzles, it's ready), pour in the egg mixture and swirl the pan around so the egg covers the entire surface.
  3. Cook for a minute or two, until the edges of the omelet are set. Use a spatula to lift the omelette delicately and check the color underneath. When it looks golden brown, flip it over, and cook for 1 minute on the other side.
  4. Slide onto a serving plate and use as desired (see suggestions above).
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  • Heather

    This was one of my daughter’s first foods! In the beginning we used egg yolks only and sometimes added in breastmilk, with no other ingredients…who knew that there was a formal recipe for our egg omelette! :)

  • http://http://mrsredbootsfood.blogspot.co.uk/ Annabel

    I’m thinking my elder grandson (the younger isn’t eating food yet, although he’s beginning to show signs of wanting to!), who doesn’t really like eggs, might like this. Knowing him, with hummus, taramasalata or “pickle” (Branston Pickle – do you know that? Great with cheddar, or, if you’re my grandson, eaten with a spoon off your plate!). I think I’d prefer cooked vegetables – onion, mushroom and tomato, for choice (you could make the tomato/pepper stew for shakshouka, and serve it in the omelette, rather than cook the eggs in the stew!), or a crunchy salad if I were eating it cold. Or an other interesting sandwich filling – coronation chicken, for instance….

    I use a Le Creuset omelette pan, which I think must be about 40 years old, but you know how they last and last. I usually cook my omelettes with butter, rather than oil, following a tip from a TV chef many years ago. He said that as soon as it stops hissing, the pan is hot enough to cook your omelette – and I’ve very rarely had an omelette fail on my since!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I agree, it seems like a really good way to serve eggs in a format that’s not too eggy/runny/gloppy for those kids who might object to those qualities, and if they’re a bit older they can help with the garnishing, too.

      I am a complete fan of Branston Pickle, and I love me a cheddar and pickle sandwich on multigrain sandwich bread. I survived on those when I was an exchange student staying with an English family that did not really believe in structured meals. :)

      And thanks for the butter tip, I’ll give it a try! I don’t really cook with butter as I prefer it raw or in pastries, but the original recipe in the book cooks the egg in a mixture of butter and oil.

  • http://saltedsky.blogspot.com/ Amy

    That’s so funny—I used to think this was what scrambled eggs were supposed to look like (: But I definitely think eggs taste best this way.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      My son also loves scrambled eggs, and that pan works really well for them too.

  • http://twitter.com/phillamb168 Phil in France

    Nice, this looks about perfect as a shower gift for my wife (we’re expecting #3 in May). Also have you been to River Cottage? We’ll be taking a road trip in March and I was considering reservations here.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Congratulations on the new little one, Phil! Let me know how your wife likes the book, though I assume you’ve built up a repertoire with #1 and #2. I have never been to River Cottage, but have heard only wonderful things about it. I hope you’ll report back if you make it there!

  • http://staringatemptypages.blogspot.com Barry Leiba

    One egg, because, of course, one egg is un oeuf.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Thanks for the giggle Barry! :)

  • http://paleoburnreviewer.com Erika

    Wow what a creative cookbook, Ive been struggling to get my children to eat eggs for breakfast for a long time, maybe if I made some eggy Alphabets it might change there mind! I have to get this book.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      I think you’ll enjoy it — let me know what you think!

  • http://revessurpapier.wordpress.com Rachel

    I seem to recall there’s an Italian (Roman? Tuscan?) recipe for a simple soup that involves omelette strips – that could be another possible use for the one-egg omelette.

    Thanks for bringing the book to my attention – my best friend has a four-month-old and I’m sure in a few months’ time she’ll be glad to know about it!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Adding those to a simple broth sounds lovely indeed! And I hope your friend and her baby are doing well.

  • Pao

    I am so happy to see you writing about this topic. I’ve been a reader and fan almost since the beginning, and now I have a baby (15m) to feed as well. He shares all our meals and food, but we’ve struggled more than I like or expected at mealtimes lately with protein and vegetables. I would be so very very interested to hear more from your adventures in this part of your life!

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Thank you, Pao! I want to limit the baby stuff around here, so it will be distilled in little touches, but I for one have enjoyed my friends Luisa’s and Molly’s reports on how they feed their kids, who are just about the same age as ours.

  • Tamsin

    I love one egg omelettes, they’re a staple in my kitchen. A few years ago Heidi posted a recipe on 101 Cookbooks where you put a tortilla on top of the egg while it’s cooking and they sort of fuse together. It’s great for a more substantial wrap. Oh, and Luisa Weiss has a recipe in her book for a one-egg soufflé omelette with jam which is delicious.

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

      Thanks for the recipe recommendations, Tamsin! Is this quesadilla from Heidi the one you had in mind?

  • yannka

    Hello Clotilde, I usually come here for “adult” recipes but today I’d like to thank you so much for featuring Nikki Duffy – I found her Q and A really brilliant, and I discovered mumsnet.com on top of that! Do you have any other favourite authors or sources regarding children and their nutrition? It’s so difficult to fight your way through the amount of internet nonsense nowadays…

    • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

      I’m so glad, Yannka! So far, two main resources have shaped the foods I offer my son, and more important, my frame of mind when it comes to his meals. The first is the book on Baby-Led Weaning and the second is Dr. Carlos Gonzales’s My Child Won’t Eat!, for which I wanted to hug the author, so happy I was to read his common-sense, trust-your-child approach.

      • yannka

        Thank you so much! I am deifinitely bookmarking these sources.

        P.S. By the way, your peacamole is my latest revelation!:)

        • http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ Clotilde Dusoulier

          Thank you Yannka, it’s a favorite at my house too!

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