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rolled spinach omelet – smitten kitchen

A frequently asked question I get about *all of this* (waves hands in the general direction of the internet/air) is where I get my inspiration from. And almost without fail, I will say “not here.” No offense to this space we’ve created, but inspiration hits when I’m not pressed to find it, like when I’m on a bus or in a cab, looking out the window, or traveling — in this case, in DC a few months ago. I was there for the wedding of an old college friend (hi Aaron!) and another friend (hi different Aaron!) had a brunch at her house the next morning to celebrate and the unbelievable spread in her gorgeous house included not one but two rolled omelets and I was riveted. “WHAT IS THIS!” and she said, “This old thing? It’s so easy! I’ve been making it forever!” and I was like, “No. Tell me everything.”

It turns out it comes from an April 2009 Everyday Food magazine, a shuttered Martha Stewart publication that was wonderful in every way. The focus was on weekday cooking for regular people with busy lives but the food was special. It was eventually folded into Living magazine and (I think) has dissipated* from there. This omelet perfectly exemplifies what everyday but special can look like because the ingredients are simple (frozen spinach, cheddar, eggs, milk), the process is quick (hand-whisked, bakes in under 15 minutes), but the presentation is gorgeous enough for the fanciest holiday brunch spread.


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I know the prospect of rolled cakes strike fear in most of our hearts, but the only test I made that was even slightly cracked was overbaked, and it still looked great. It’s also almost impervious to my tweaking; more about ways to do that below. I love how much it looks like a yule log, not a replacement for the best one ever (no bias here whatsoever), but a very green one I find my system crying out for between regular visits to the cookie tin, naturally. You can also make it just for you, just because you’re craving it, and if that sounds appealing to you in this frenetic season, month, time we’re in, well, I think you know what to do next.

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* I know I pouted for some time when Gourmet magazine folded, and now I am pouting about Everyday Food, but not all magazine news is bad! Saveur is, in fact, coming back into print next year and you can read more about it here.

Previously

6 months ago: Summer Pea Salad with Unexpected Dressing
1 year ago: Baked Brie with Garlic Butter Mushrooms
2 years ago: Short Rib Onion Soup
3 years ago: Gingerbread Yule Log
4 years ago: Unfussy Sugar Cookies
5 years ago: Falafel
6 years ago: Dutch Apple Pie
7 years ago: Union Square Cafe’s Bar Nuts
8 years ago: Pull-Apart Rugelach and Tres Leches Cake + A Taco Party
9 years ago: Decadent Hot Chocolate Mix and Gingrebread Biscotti
10 years ago: Eggnog Florentines
11 years ago: Cashew Butter Balls
12 years ago: Caesar Salad Deviled Eggs
13 years ago: Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms
14 years ago: Coffee Toffee
15 years ago: Zuni Cafe’s Roast Chicken + Bread Salad
16 years ago: Chicken and Dumplings
17 years ago: Pecan Squares

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Rolled Spinach Omelet

  • 1 cup (225 grams) milk, any variety
  • 1/3 cup (45 grams) all-purpose flour or 1/4 cup (35 grams) cornstarch (gluten-free option)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package (10-ounce or 283-gram) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
  • 3 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces or 115 grams) coarsely grated white cheddar
  • Arugula or another salad green, halved cherry tomatoes, and minced chives to serve (optional)
    Heat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 10×15-inch rimmed baking sheet (jellyroll size) with a larger piece of parchment, pressing it into the inner sides and corners.

    In a large bowl, whisk together milk and flour until smooth. Add eggs, salt, and many grinds of black pepper and whisk until the eggs are evenly mixed. Stir in spinach, breaking up any clumps, then scallions. Pour into prepared pan.

    Bake the omelet, rotating it once just so that it bakes in an even layer, until the the edges and most of the center are set (a little runny is fine), about 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle the top with cheese and return to the oven for another 2 to 3 minutes.

    Remove from the oven and slide the omelet and it’s parchment onto a large cooling rack. Grab a clean kitchen towel to use to protect your hands from the heat as you roll. Begin rolling the omelet from a shorter end, lifting the parchment to help roll the omelet tightly. I find it can help as you lift the parchment over the roll with one hand, to use the edge of a spatula to keep tucking the log under as you roll. Roll the omelet onto a serving plate.

    Garnish the serving plate with greens, tomatoes, and chives, if using. (You can dress them in a bowl first with a drizzle of olive oil, teaspoon of white wine vinegar, salt and pepper, if you wish.) Serve the omelet in 1-inch slices.

    Do ahead: You can make this ahead in one of two ways: 1. Mix the eggs, milk, flour, spinach, and scallions and keep in the fridge overnight. Bake right before serving. 2. Make the omelet in full and reheat it when needed. I’ve not reheated the whole omelet before, however, just 1-inch slices for breakfast in the days that follow. I microwave it for 30 seconds. The omelet keeps surprisingly well!

    Notes:

  • The original recipe calls for 2 packs of frozen spinach but I prefer one, which you can see, leaves it still very green. My changes, reflected in the recipe above, were to reduce the spinach, nix the dijon mustard (it wasn’t adding a lot), plus I add minced scallions, and I skip oiling the pan by using a large piece of parchment instead.
  • I also tested several variables: this works with nondairy milk. If you’d like to make it gluten-free, you can use cornstarch instead of flour.

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