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Root Vegetable Au Gratin Omelette



  • 6 farm fresh eggs, or refrigerated eggs allowed to come to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup Dubliner, Double Gloucester, or a similar sharp semi-hard cheese, shredded
  • 1/8 cup Pecorino/Spanish Manchego shaved or grated (Parmigiano Reggiano may be substituted)
  • 1 small red beet – tap root and small hair roots removed
  • 1 medium Yukon Gold potato, skin on
  • 1 small orange-fleshed sweet potato, skin on
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • 1/2 small white onion, diced and caramelized
  • 1 sprig fresh dill weed, minced
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 oz. each of spinach (~ 10 leaves) and fresh rinsed nettle leaves (~ 20 small leaves), or substitute arugula
  • 1 heaping tablespoon oil-cured, mild chiles (i.e., Mama Lil’s goat horn peppers); decrease for hot chiles
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • some Fresh ground black pepper to taste


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Rinse eggs in their shells with very hot water just prior to using. Note: This is good practice for all egg dishes, promoting sanitation and reducing cooking times.
  3. Fully coat sides and bottom of eight-inch ovenproof, non-stick pan (or all-metal au gratin dish) with warmed butter and olive oil. If not using a non-stick dish, use two teaspoons of butter instead of one. Set aside.
  4. (Note: For the next steps, resist the urge to slice all your vegetables ahead of time, as they can curl up, making it more difficult to lay out each layer.) Using a mandoline, slice beet into rounds about the thickness of a credit card. Overlap rounds in a spiral toward center of pan until fully covered. Salt with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Sprinkle shaved Pecorino. Rinse mandoline and cutting board to keep from staining the next ingredients with beet juice.
  5. Increase mandoline blade opening to three times as thick as a credit card and slice potato. Overlap rounds in the same spiral pattern, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt, freshly ground black pepper, and distribute 1/4 cup of Dubliner evenly on top.
  6. Decrease mandoline blade opening to two times credit card thickness and slice the sweet potato. Arrange the rounds into the same overlapping spiral and this time only salt it with 1/4 teaspoon salt and sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of Dubliner.
  7. Then, decrease mandoline blade back to one credit card thickness and slice the parsnip. Arrange the rounds once again into a spiral layer, salt with 1/4 teaspoon salt. No cheese on top of this layer. For full spiciness, drizzle a heaping tablespoon of minced oil-cured chiles over the parsnips. For a milder taste, drizzle 1-1/2 teaspoons of the chile-flavored oil, without the chiles.
  8. Cover pan with tight-fitting lid, and bake 25 minutes.
  9. In medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk eggs, cream, one teaspoon salt, fresh dill, and dash of ground coriander. Set aside.
  10. Remove pan from oven and add layer of each of the greens and caramelized onions on top of the layered root vegetables. Let pan cool with lid off for 10 minutes, leaving oven on. Re-cover pan and pop it in oven again until hot and bubbly – around five minutes.  (I call this annealing the crust. All layers of vegetable behave as a unit after this.)
  11. Pour egg mixture over top of greens (do not replace lid), and bake 10-12 minutes until set.
  12. Remove, let rest for two to three minutes, and nudge sides carefully from pan until omelet slides freely. Using small flexible spatula, slip omelet onto cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

You’ll likely take time to chat after breakfast—when Jill and Charles have finished cooking. No rush, as you need to digest knowing you’ll soon be getting a little more food before heading to the ferry. Inquire about your check-out time, and get last tips, if you’d like, about things to do before lunch.