Fillings can be whatever happens to be knocking about in the fridge* – as long as they're cooked: nothing will have time to cook through. Two tips: always add a little water to the eggs while beating them, and never add any salt until they start to set in the pan. For a good crust and a melting interior, make sure the butter in the pan is nut-brown before introducing the eggs, and have your filling and garnishes ready to go.
extra virgin olive oil
40g unsalted butter
4 slices quality smoked ham (check gluten free if required)
80g freshly grated gruyere
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
40g freshly grated parmesan
1. Gently beat together the eggs and 2 tablespoons of water with a fork. Heat a non-stick 22cm frying pan on the stove. When hot, add a dash of olive oil and the butter.
2. When the butter is bubbling and just turning a nut-brown colour, add the egg and stir from the outside inwards with a rubber spatula. Keeping the heat high, cook until the inside of the omelette is still a little undercooked, then add the ham. Sprinkle the gruyere, sea salt, ground pepper and parsley over the middle third of the omelette.
3. Scatter about two-thirds of the parmesan over the whole omelette. Fold one-third of the omelette into the centre, then the second, encasing the ham and cheese. Allow the omelette to cook for a further minute before removing from the heat.
4. Transfer the omelette to a chopping board, cut in half and place each half on a plate – brown side up. Sprinkle over the remaining parmesan, add more pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.
*Use smoked salmon instead of ham, any greens like zucchini or asparagus, mushrooms (of course!) and cheese (absolutely!) – the list is endless.
Find more of Neil Perry's recipes in the Good Food New Classics cookbook.