Saturday, February 7, 2009

Recipe: Caprese Omelette

Those of you on have probably noticed a trend with me in the "What I'm Craving" section of my profile. More often than not, I'm craving some sort of omelette. I'm not sure if it's the versatility of the omelette, the ease of preparation, or the fact that you can get a nice, filling, high-protein meal in one dish, or all of the above, but I love a great omelette. Even when I happen to be at a restaurant for breakfast (read: Denny's after a concert), my eye usually lands on the omelette section of the menu. I try them at almost every restaurant that will offer them, learning what not to do and acquiring new tips for my home creations (thanks, Cheesecake Factory for the lovely addition of herbs in your California Omelette!). What I don't like about restaurant omelettes is how greasy they can be. There's a certain grease threshold I have and most places beat that more often than not. The worst part about a restaurant omelette, however, is the price: $9-11 on average for some eggs with a bit of filling? Unacceptable!

I came up with this recipe about a year ago and have loved it ever since. I think it's hard not to love a traditional Caprese salad for it's simplicity and combination of flavors: fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella cheese. I was dying to do something new with my omelettes and had just scored said fresh ingredients at the farmer's market, so I thought it would be interesting to throw a Caprese salad in an omelette. It was a great idea! It's fresh tasting, oozing with cheese (someone really ought to find me a cheese rehab center), and incredibly easy to make. The key to making this taste as wonderful as it does is to have the freshest ingredients possible. This will not work with dried basil and as much as I love sundried tomatoes, they won't achieve the same result as a juicy, fresh one will. And of course, there's the cheese. Resist the urge to get regular or processed mozzarella if at all possible. Buy a container of fresh mozzarella balls or a nice mozzarella "chub" as this will make all the difference in the world. It will cost about the same as the processed gunk (~ $3/8oz) and tastes a lot better.

Serve this for Sunday brunch or as a nice change for dinner with some crusty Italian bread. Then sit back and marvel at how beautifully delicious this is for about $2/omelette, a savings of up to $8 for something you probably won't find at every restaurant. And it's much healthier because you know exactly how it's being cooked.

Caprese Omelette (Serves 1-2, depending on appetite; Total Cost per Omelette: about $2)

3 eggs
1-2 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese
1 medium tomato
1 small bunch of fresh basil
1 T olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Prepare the filling by rinsing the basil, patting it dry, then cutting into small shreds. Next, slice or dice the tomato into 1/2" pieces, and finally, cut your mozzarella cheese into small 1/8" thick rounds (this helps it melt more easily).

Beat eggs well until they are light and fluffy-looking in the bowl. A tip I learned from a TV cooking show is to add a couple drops of water for extra fluffy eggs, and because this actually works better than milk, I highly suggest this. Heat the olive oil (or butter, if you're a traditional omelette maker) in a pan over medium high heat until hot and add eggs. Swirl your pan around until the egg coats the entire bottom and some of the sides. When the eggs bubble, take your spatula and pierce the steam bubble, tilting your pan to fill the hole with the remaining eggs. Continue this process until the eggs stop bubbling and reduce heat to medium. Sprinkle a tiny pinch each of salt and pepper, place the mozzarella rounds in the omelette and cover for about 90 seconds, or just until the cheese starts to soften. At this point you will want to start using your spatula to help loosen the omelette from the pan, making sure it doesn't break in the process. Once you've loosened it most of the way, add the tomatoes and basil shreds. Flip one side of the omelette on top of the other with your spatula and cook for about 20 seconds. Flip the entire thing onto the other side and do the same. By now you should have reached a perfect golden color on the outside of the omelette.

Slide the omelette onto a plate, garnish with extra diced tomato and a sprig of basil on top, add some good, crusty Italian bread for a side if desired, and enjoy!

(Note: If your omelette breaks while flipping, don't worry about it at all! Even I can't do a perfect flip sometimes. It will still taste the same; you just have Caprese Eggs, instead. :) )


  1. I've been a fan of caprese scrambled eggs since I stumbled across them in a cozy cafe years ago. With a hunk of sourdough bread, its basically a complete any-meal

  2. I found your blog on CNN! I love it! Keep up the good work! Thanks!

  3. this looks amazing! i am so happy to have discovered your blog. i too was linked here from the CNN home page just a few days ago and i can't wait to test out some of these recipes. i'm a pittsburgher, so our current produce selection is a little abysmal, but maybe i'll get creative at our local trader joe's (a recent addition to our cityscape and one of the loves of my life!)

  4. This post helped me finally resolve my issue with omelettes. I could never get the egg to cook fully and usually ended up scrambling it, but I followed your instructions, and the eggs got solid enough for me to actually flip them over! I was so excited! Now I'll be able to try this delicious recipe.

  5. On a recent trip to NYC, I had the pleasure of eating at Grand Cafe in Astoria. I chose the "Caprese Frittata" and it was delicious. All I could think about until I got back to North Carolina is where I could find a recipe similar. & here it is. I love it! thank You



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