I love eggs in any preparation, but I particularly love an omelette. It’s the perfect vehicle for a bunch of things I like that you don’t normally get first thing in the morning – specifically, charred veggies and cheese. I’ll throw anything in an omelette, but my fave is a riff on Mediterranean flavors and includes some mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach or kale and feta cheese with oregano and chili. I make this particular omelette several times a week as a high protein lunch, and – if I do say so myself – I’ve basically perfected the technique, which involves making sure your veggies are crunchy, but not raw; cooked through, but not mushy, and there should be plenty of ooey, gooey melted cheese but not so much that the fresh stuff is buried and unrecognizable. Most importantly, though, you want your eggs perfectly cooked. The omelette should be fluffy, the edges should be lacy and the whole thing should be seasoned, because there’s really nothing worse than un-or-underseasoned food, especially in the egg department.
So, if getting better at omelette-making is something that’s been keeping you up at night, here are my tips and tricks for making sure they turn out perfectly, every time:
- Get everything ready before you start cooking. Chop your veggies, whisk your eggs, get your seasonings out of the cupboard and get everything in your cooking area before anything ever touches the pan. This is something I recommend for any type of cooking, but it’s especially important when working with eggs, because the line between good and bad eggs is a fine one, my friends, and timing is key.
- Start with your veggies. I absolutely HATE when I get a veggie omelette at a restaurant and the vegetables haven’t been properly cooked. A veggie in an omelette is still a veggie and it needs to be given its own love and attention. I am passionate about this. Cooking vegetables makes them taste INFINITELY better, whether they’re being put in eggs or not. Cook your vegetables, guys. For my go-to Mediterranean-inspired omelette, I add mushrooms to a hot pan with some olive oil and let them cook for a few minutes before I add anything else, because mushrooms take a bit longer to cook down than the other veggies I use. If you’re using veggies that have roughly the same cooking time, throw them all in at once. If not, start with the rougher, tougher guys and move on to the more delicate ones as things get cooking.
- Season every step of the way. I add my mushrooms to a hot pan with a bit of olive oil, and after they cook down a bit, I add salt and pepper to just the mushrooms. Not a lot, just a pinch, but I don’t leave ’em naked. Salt is the foundation of flavor, y’all, and veggies need quite a bit of it to taste good, so don’t be afraid to season with salt after every addition.
- Add your softer veggies: My next step is to add halved cherry tomatoes – and a pinch of salt – to the pan. If all your veggies are already in because they all have the same cooking time, don’t worry about veggie-layering, just move on to the eggs.
- Add the eggs, the star of the show. My advice: Leave ’em alone. Don’t add milk or cream or melted butter or – and this is a real thing I have seen on the internet – champagne – to them, they don’t need it. Scrambled eggs require a little extra TLC, but an omelette is good to go with your basic, whisked eggs. I use 3, and don’t forget to season them with salt and pepper!
- Add your eggs to the pan while it’s still on medium-high heat. When the eggs hit the hot pan, the bottom layer will cook right away. This is a good thing, we want that slightly golden bottom and lacy edges. Turn the heat down to low immediately. Don’t stir. That’s scrambling. We aren’t tryna scramble, today.
- With the heat on its lowest setting, add your remaining seasonings. For me, that’s usually some dried oregano and crushed chili flakes. At this point, since we’ve seasoned as we’ve gone along, including our eggs when we whisked them, you’re all set with salt and pepper.
- If you’re adding greens, this is the time to do it. I like kale because I’m into the texture, but spinach works great, too. Add it right to the top of your omelette. We’re gonna cover the pan and cook this for about 8-10 minutes, so the greens will be perfectly wilted when the eggs finish cooking. You could add your greens earlier, but I find that they turn to brown mush if they cook for that long, and I prefer my greens to be, well, green.
- If you’re adding cheese, add it right over the top of the greens. I use feta, which melts but also retains a bit of it’s structure, which I’m into, because I like my cheese to look and taste like cheese, but cheddar or mozzarella would work well as a more classic option. If I use a shredded cheese, I add it under the greens.
- Cover your pan and walk away. Let the eggs do their thing for 8-10 minutes, checking them right around that 8-minute mark. If they’re still runny on top, bump the heat a bit and cover and cook for a few more mins. The eggs are done when they are no longer runny on the top of the omelette and the edges are just slightly browned and lacy. Sometimes that takes 10 mins, sometimes it takes 12, on some crazy mornings it takes 11; I can’t explain why that is, but it’s no reason for panic, you’re not gonna burn anything on your lowest heat setting. Just be patient. Because we didn’t add all of our soft ingredients at the beginning, nothing is gonna become unrecognizably mushy. By the time your eggs are done, your greens will have steamed and wilted perfectly, and your cheese will be gloriously melty.
- To plate your masterpiece, slide a rubber spatula along the rim of the pan to loosen your omelette and then slide the whole thing, open-faced, onto a plate. Garnish with some fresh herbs or infused oil, if you like. I’m into keeping the omelette open, as opposed to the traditional fold-over, because fresh vegetables and melted cheese are super beautiful and I don’t like to cover them up. If you’re into folded omelettes exclusively, maybe talk to someone about that particular tick, but also just go ahead and fold it over as it comes out of the pan.
- I don’t tend to use meat in my omelettes, but if you’re super carnivorous, cook any raw meat – like bacon – right at the beginning, before you do anything else. You’ll probably want to drain some of the grease before you add any other ingredients, as well. If you’re using cooked meat – like ham or turkey – add it after any rough veggies have already cooked. No need to crowd the veggies with food that’s already cooked.
There ya have it, guys, my guide to turning out the perfect omelette, every time. Give it a go, it’s not as tough as you might think. Omelettes are sort of one of those dishes that people think they can’t execute well or with consistency, but the truth is that they just require a little bit of patience. If you’re willing to give your veggies some TLC and can remember to season while you go, you’re half-way there. Aside from that, just resist the urge to lift the lid while you cook (this goes for non-omelette making as well), and don’t underestimate the power of low heat and a pot with a lid.