Here’s an adaptation of an omelet created by Ben Hunter, a gifted, gonzo chef who trains high school-aged cooks at a sustainability-minded restaurant called the Ironworks Cafe, a project of the Goodman Community Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Ben uses a neat technique here—he shaves Brussels sprouts into thin shreds and sautés them into crispy wisps seasoned with shallot and thyme. The sprout ribbons then become part of the omelet structure, and with breadcrumbs and Parmesan in the mix, the flavor and presentation are just wonderful.
The recipe was first published in “From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce” (Jones Books, 2004).
1. Heat broiler. Trim off the core ends and any wilted parts of the Brussels sprouts. Cut each one in half, and finely shave the halves with a sharp knife or mandoline so you end up with ribbons. Coarsely chop the shallot. Chop or mash some salt and pepper with the thyme. Rip bread into 1/4-inch pieces.
2. Combine sprouts, shallots, thyme mixture, bread and a bit of the olive oil in a small bowl. Heat the broiler.
3. Heat a 9-inch non-stick skillet with sloping sides over high flame. Add Brussels sprouts mixture and cook, stirring often, until mixture crisps up, 6 to 8 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, beat eggs in a bowl. When Brussels sprouts are cooked, add eggs to pan and when they begin to set at the edges, use a spatula to push cooked areas towards center of pan while tilting the pan to allow uncooked areas to cook. Do this until most of the omelet is cooked.
5. Sprinkle on the cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and eggs are set, 1 to 2 minutes. Begin to slide the omelet onto a plate, and when it is halfway there, tip the pan so the omelet folds in half. Serve promptly.