Cheesy Leek and Lentil Rolled Omelet with Artichokes

Over the holidays I hosted brunch a few times here on the homestead and today’s recipe was a hit at every gathering.

Serving brunch is my favourite way to pack friends in around the table when it is bitterly cold outside. Danny brews countless pots of French press coffee and I set up a hot cocoa bar for the kids, complete with homemade marshmallows. Everyone is happier in the morning (meaning the younger crowd) and as most of our friends have small children, it makes sense to get together early and wrap up by nap time.

I always like to bake when I’m hosting brunch –  scones, spiced swirl buns, citrus madeleines – there are always tried and true baking recipes to rely on for these special occasions. However, when it comes to rounding out the menu, I always get stuck when it comes to eggs. I’ve never been a fan of strata, and frittata is something I make for dinner when I need to clean out the cheese drawer. So what to make when you want to serve eggs to a crowd and are looking for something a little more exciting than a scramble?

A few days before Christmas I picked up Joy the Baker’s latest cookbook, Over Easy, and flipped through the egg chapter. The answer jumped out at me: Omelet Wheels, Joy’s genius method for a baked omelet that is rolled and sliced. It was pretty, very different, and would feed a crowd (which was ideal as I had twenty people on the way).

I first tested the recipe on Christmas morning, tossing in sautéed leeks that I had on hand and sprinkling a few leaves of thyme and parsley. The rolled omelet was no trouble to make and sliced up beautifully. Best of all, it was absolutely delicious. (For the record, Joy’s whole book is full of winning recipes and I highly recommend adding Over Easy to your collection.)

Fast forward to the present and I have made this omelet several times more. I tried it with spinach, as per the original recipe, but I preferred the softened leeks instead. I’ve never been crazy about any variation on eggs Florentine. I tried both spinach and leeks, but it was too many veggies. The delicate egg still needs to shine through.

I also made the recipe and froze it, just to see how it would reheat. The result was quite decent, although it become a tad watery and lost that delicate wobble it has when it is served up straight from the oven. I even took slices and transformed them into gourmet breakfast sandwiches, paired with ham and a slice of Monterey Jack, on English muffins. That was a huge success, and I’ll be sharing that recipe/method very soon.

Lastly, I added lentils, my go-to simple, affordable way to add protein and fibre, and bulk up a recipe a bit more. As I guessed, the lentils paired very well with the eggs and fragrant leeks. (It’s not the first time I’ve paired eggs and leeks for a savoury breakfast. Remember these baked eggs?)

So, if you’re looking for an original savoury brunch dish, know that you and your guests will love this rolled omelet. Forget about those trendy cloud eggs or nest eggs, which have no flavour and look a bit sickly. I can’t imagine those leftovers being very tasty – but this omelet? It makes a fabulous reheat.

Let’s run through the Cheesy Leek and Lentil Rolled Omelet with Artichokes in photos really quickly, and then you’ll find the recipe.

Basic ingredients! I like that we’re dipping into a well-stocked pantry for the lentils and artichokes, as well as raiding the fridge for dairy, eggs and vegetables.

Leeks are sliced and cooked in butter for a few minutes. Then the lentils and artichokes make up the rest of the filling.

A large, rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment is how we bake this omelet. Very easy and no fuss.

The cheese layer on top helps the omelet to stick together when it is rolled up. The parchment ensures nothing sticks to the pan.

I let the omelet rest an extra five minutes once it has been rolled. The cheese firms up slightly, and the whole omelet is more stable to make the transfer to a serving platter. Then slice and serve! It’s fantastic with great big slabs of toast or a platter of my slow cooker cider ham.


Cheesy Leek and Lentil Rolled Omelet with Artichokes
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Recipe type: Breakfast
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Total time:
Serves/Yield: Served 6-8
Recipe adapted with permission from Joy Wilson's Over Easy cookbook.
Ingredients
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 medium leek, washed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 1 (15-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained well and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked green lentils
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 scant teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 scant teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Place a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 350F. Coat a 10 x 15-inch jelly roll pan with nonstick cooking spray. (I’ve also used a 12x17 pan and that works too). Line it with parchment paper with an overhang of a few inches on both sides, and lightly spray the parchment paper.
  2. Heat a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Thinly slice the white and light green parts of the leek and add them to the pan. Reserve the dark green leek for a vegetable stock or discard. Sauté the leek, stirring frequently, for 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped artichokes and cooked lentils.
  3. Place the flour in a small bowl and slowly pour the milk over the flour. Whisk until smooth. Add the cream and whisk until smooth.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, mustard, soy sauce, and pepper. Add the cream mixture and whisk well by hand for about 3 minutes, until it is fully aerated and has some big bubbles.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and distribute the leek, artichoke and lentil mixture over the top. Sprinkle evenly with 1/2 cup of the cheese and 1 tablespoon of parsley.
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes, until the edges are set and the centre is beginning to set. Remove from the oven, sprinkle 1 cup of cheese on top, and bake for 4 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is just melted. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Lift the long end of the parchment paper and tightly roll the omelet to create a long cylinder. Let the omelet cool for another 5 minutes to ‘set’ and hold its shape, then sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and the parsley. Transfer to a serving platter, then slice and serve warm.
Notes
I used du Puy lentils in the photos, as that was all I had, but the omelet would work with either French or green.
I keep cooked lentils in my freezer for when I need a portion for a recipe and I don't want to dirty a pot.

Big thanks to Lentils, who partially sponsored my recent book tour and helped me get from coast to coast across Canada. Lentils are so much more than just for soups and curries – try them in anything from breakfast to mains, to dessert! Find so many more fantastic lentil recipes over on their website, Lentils.org.

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée’s preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars – Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. Dear Aimee, this is my new favourite. Amazing appetizer, so simple yet seducing ! Thank you so very much !

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