Although I love omelettes* as a base for all kinds of stuffing and flavors, I don’t often cook them. This morning, as it happened, I had leftover lentils from a vegetarian lasagna and I had soft goat cheese. This classic combo of lentils and goat cheese makes (in the words of my italian father in law) ‘one mean omelette’. As a side note this is a great meal for a vegetarian with the triple protein of lentils, cheese and eggs.
For the omelette: eggs, butter, salt and pepper. I decided to throw in a little bit of garlic* and some chives but they are not necessary.
Goat or chevre cheese. ‘Chevre’ is simply the french word for goat. I had an inexpensive, soft goat cheese log to hand but this recipe works best with a ‘surface-ripened’ chevre cheese which has a rind and is much creamier and ‘meltier’ inside. Needless to say it is a little more expensive! I would recommend against buying pre-crumbled goat cheese from a bag or plastic container.
The lentils. I cannot rave enough about my favorite lentil, the puy lentil. In french it is the ‘Lentilles vertes du Puy’. I have seen them in this country called ‘lentils vertes’ and also simply labeled ‘lentils’. But they are very different from the more common brown lentil. They are smaller, chewier and IMHO more delicious. Please try them in a bunch of different recipes. As a vegetarian I recommend them for any recipe where you need a pulse to replace a ground meat, such as a veggie bolognaise sauce, shepherd’s pie or taco filling. Another fantastic lentil is the black lentil.
You can get pre-cooked lentils, but it’s more nutritious to cook your own (and not nearly so labor intensive as a dried bean). Takes about 30 minutes. Simply wash them, bring to boil in a good amount of water (with a bay leaf of bouquet garni if you like) and simmer till tender. If you are going to use them for this dish or a salad, you can season them a little with olive oil, salt and pepper and a splash of white wine vinegar.
Next, heat up a frying pan to at least medium heat and melt in a good chunk of butter. Omelettes need a high heat, unlike scrambled eggs. Blend your eggs and season a little with salt and pepper. Goat cheese is fairly salty so you don’t need much. Toss in some herbs if you like.
Just in case there’s someone out there who’s never made an omelette (is there?), the practice is simple: lift up the edges of the omelette and swirl the egg around to make the omelette fluffy and cook as much of it as you can. What you are aiming for is a cooked golden crust and a soft eggy center.
When the egg is mostly cooked, (or first put it under the broiler for a minute if you want the inside a little less runny) top with the lentils and goat cheese.
Put your frying pan under the broiler to warm up the lentils and melt the goat cheese. Get it nice and hot. Then fold over and slide onto a plate. We think this is pretty yummy and hope you do too.
* I did check if I should spell ‘omelet’ the American way or ‘omelette’. It seems there is no hard and fast rule. Either is acceptable.
** I forgot to put in the garlic but it was not missed!