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A Spring Omelet Featuring Flat-leaf Parsley

March 19, 2012 | Tags: Deborah Madison , Food , Vegetables | Post comment

A Spring Omelet Featuring Flat-leaf Parsley

March is a difficult time of year regarding food in some ways. It’s just before asparagus and artichokes, the spring vegetables, start to come in. It’s too early for peas.  Lettuce and spinach aren’t at their best —the lettuce comes from too far, the spinach is subject to rainy weather and wind, which makes it ragged and very sandy. Herbs are pretty dismal, too. The summery flavors of basil and marjoram we might long for are still months away. Even the spring herbs, like chervil and tarragon are barely here. 

But one thing March is good for is eggs. Good eggs, hopefully local ones with perky whites and bright yellow yolks. With longer days, chickens have started laying once more. And it’s also good, as it is all the time, for parsley—verdant bunches of it.  We know eggs supply protein, but parsley is full of good things too when it’s used for more than just a garnish. It’s strikingly high in vitamin K, for one.  And the beauty of an omelet or frittata for dinner is that it is very easy to make, takes very little time, and is satisfying the way meat is.  

This particular omelet gets a boost from not only the parsley, but a half-cup of ricotta cheese, or, if you want more flavor, goat cheese, and a little grated Parmesan for accent.  I like the addition of toasted breadcrumbs over the top, or you could have this with a piece of toast, a salad, or a wilted green such as kale, chard, or maybe spinach if it looks good.  

I don’t have a broiler so I slide my half-cooked eggs onto a plate, cover them with the skillet and flip it back over to cook the second side. Sometimes my aim is less than perfect, as you can tell by the ragged edge in the picture.  If you have a broiler, you might find it easier to slide your frittata under its heat to firm and brown the top. And you’ll have a more perfect looking omelet!

 Spring Omelet with Parsley, Ricotta and Breadcrumbs     

By itself, a ricotta omelet is very soothing (or bland, depending on your point of view), but it can also take on a range of accompaniments from fiery salsas to sautéed tomatoes (in summer), roasted asparagus (soon!) to greens (kale, chard).  The biggest effort here is to chop the parsley, and it needn’t be super.  Larger pieces will be fine and they’ll fleck the omelet with the bright green color.

If you’re going to use the breadcrumbs, make them first. If you plan to seve the omelet with toast, leave them out. Preheat the broiler, and you’re ready.


1 large piece chewy textured, rustic whole grain bread, crusts removed
4 large organic eggs
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup ricotta cheese or soft goat cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for the top
½ cup (or more!) chopped parsley
1 small clove garlic, crushed and minced with a few pinches salt
1 tablespoon butter


Preheat the broiler.  Pulse the bread in a food processor (or blender) to make irregularly sized breadcrumbs.  Toast them in a dry skillet until golden and crisp, then set the aside.
Beat the eggs with scant 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add pepper, then stir in the ricotta, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, and half the breadcrumbs.  There’s no need to make the mixture utterly smooth.
Heat the butter until foamy in an 8 –inch nonstick skillet, Add the egg mixture and give it a stir, then lower the heat, and cook until set but still a bit wet on top.  Lightly brown the top under the broiler, then slide the frittata onto a plate.  Sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs and garnish with an extra grating of Parmesan and additional pepper.

Serves 2