Zucchini omelette

Eggs are hardly the food of the nineties, these days of healthy eating, but what the hell.i’m as aware as the next person that sensible eating makes for a good night’s sleep and a productive, contented life, but that doesn’t mean you dive daily into a pool of virgin olive oil, coming up only occasionally for a stick of celery and a raw carrot, with a rare treat of poached pears and yoghurt.

Don’t think I’m scornful of the new order. I would reckon these days I’d take a meal of eggs about once a season, whereas it used to be more than once a week. We usually get stuck into eggs after getting our annual carton from a farmer mate who has chickens pecking the dirt and eating delicious leftovers from the kitchen. The eggs feel great, have really yellow and rich yolks, and when broken fall exactly into their expected parts of whites and yolk, Poached, they hold together wonderfully, making every cook a genius. They have a flavour all their own. You have to eat them.

1 zucchini, grated — You could use carrot, corn, roasted capsicum, eggplant etc.

4 eggs

nutmeg, grated freshly

a little chilli, chopped finely

1 clove garlic, chopped finely

a little fresh horseradish, grated — Horseradish is one of those flavourings of which a little goes a long way. It’s never really been a favourite because it has such a dominating, pungent flavour, but I guess much of that distrust has been because so little of it is available fresh. If you see it, try it. If you like it, plant it. It will grow and grow and grow.


any fresh herbs, chopped roughly — If I could ask for one, it would be tarragon.

½ cup cream

1 dessertspoon full-flavoured virgin olive oil

Raclette or Parmesan cheese, or any flavoursome cheese, to be melted or grated at the end

black pepper


After grating the zucchini, squeeze it gently in your hands to j remove any excess moisture. Add the eggs, nutmeg, chilli, garlic, horseradish, salt and herbs (keep some aside for garnish and seasonings), and beat the lot together with a fork until the yolks and whites are as one. Pour in the cream, and beat gently. Heat the oven to 190°C.


In a heavy-bottomed pan (a Le Creuset 20cm pan is perfect), heat the oil on high until it sizzles. Remove from heat and run the oil all about the pan. Pour off any excess.


Return pan to the heat for a few seconds and add the egg mix. Leave on the heat for about 30 seconds and then turn off the heat.


Put the lot in the bottom of the oven and leave for about 20 minutes. Test after about 15 minutes. You will notice that the edges are firming up and the centre is undercooked. The dish is done when the centre, while underdone, is firm enough to hold its own.


Remove and leave in the pan on top of the stove for a minute or so. Grate some Parmesan over the top. Turn on the grill to high and slide the pan under the grill. Leave for a minute or so, until the cheese just melts. Remove and set aside for 30 seconds.


Run about the edges with a flexible knife to ensure they have not stuck. They should not have — the oil and the fast early cooking should have ensured that. Fit a plate onto the top of the pan and unmould. (If it doesn’t unmould, don’t despair, just take it straight from the pan.)


Sprinkle the new top with cheese and black pepper from the pepper mill, and put under the grill for 30 seconds.


Sprinkle with some herbs and serve. It’s best taken in slices. Delicious, hot, warm or cold. And especially delicious on toast.

WINE: Have a bottle of chilled Rhine riesling taken straight from the fridge. We tend to try our rieslings too early in Australia — the best ones need three to five years bottle age before they flower.