Start to finish: 10 minutes
2 extra-large or 3 large or medium eggs
Large pinch salt
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Several grinds black pepper
1 teaspoon cold water (optional)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus extra to garnish
Several sprigs parsley, to garnish
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, pepper and water, if using, until just blended. Set aside.
Place a nonstick skillet over high. Add the butter and tilt the pan in all directions to coat the bottom and sides. When the butter foam has almost subsided but just before it browns, pour in the eggs.
Shake the pan briefly to spread the eggs over the bottom of the pan, then let the pan sit for several seconds undisturbed while the eggs coagulate on the bottom. If adding any fillings, such as sauteed vegetables, do so now.
Start jerking the pan toward you, throwing the eggs against the far edge. Keep jerking roughly, gradually lifting the pan up by the handle and tilting the far edge of the pan over the heat as the omelet begins to roll over on itself. Use a rubber spatula to push any stray egg back into the mass. Then bang on the handle close to the pan with a fist and the omelet will start curling at its far edge.
To unmold, maneuver the omelet to one side of the pan. Fold the third of the omelet furthest from you over on itself. Lift the pan and hold a serving plate next to it. Tilt the pan toward the plate, allowing the omelet to slide onto it and fold over on itself into thirds.
Spear a lump of butter with a fork and rapidly brush it over the top of the omelet. Garnish with parsley.
Recipe adapted from Julia Child’s “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom,” Knopf, 2009