The French approach the act of omelette making in the same was as the Italians approach pizza making. Namely, that less is more and quality wins over quantity every time.
For me, omelettes have always been a quick, easy and filling Sunday night meal. Or perhaps a slightly luxurious weekend breakfast option.
What I love about making an omelette is that as long as I have a couple of eggs kicking around, I don’t need to worry too much about the rest. A few spare spring onions, several scraps of ham, the leftover vegetables threatening to go bad in the bottom of the crisper drawer and whatever cheese happens to have made it through the week intact (quite a rare occurrence, when you live with a man who can eat an entire wheel of brie in one sitting).
I like a lot of variety in my omelette, and have been raised on the idea that the more colourful a dish is, the better it is for your health. So I find myself habitually seeking something green (fresh chives, baby spinach leaves), something red (tomatoes, capsicum), some dairy (cheese) and some filling protein (ham, bacon, leftover chicken breast). And perhaps to give the old metabolism a little kick start, some chilli flakes.
The egg is almost an afterthought for me, the glue that holds the rest of it together.
But my loaded-up version of this eggy dish couldn’t really be further from the refined and rather fabulous, French version.
A traditional French omelette contains just eggs, herbs and a little butter to grease your pan. Trés simple, yes, but also quite delicious in it unfussiness.
Other variations include omelette aux oignons, aux champignons and, the cheese-lovers favourite, omelette au fromage. Rarer still, is the omelette mixte which strays from the one-hero-ingredient formula ever so slightly, and combines the age-old classic French ingredients, ham and cheese.
Whichever way you prefer your omelette, one thing is for sure – there is just something so comforting about this dish. It conjures up images of cold evenings spent warm and cosy inside with loved ones, or rainy midday’s in Paris, having ducked into un café du coin to escape from the grey Montmartre drizzle.
What images do omelettes conjure up for you?