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by Fanny and Johnnie Cradock (Fontana Books, 1968)

I have quite a collection of camp books and Christmas books; this unites the two gloriously. A long-cherished volume.  I think the recipe speaks for itself.

Cold Green Omelette (Torta di Bleia)
This is the old French/Italian mountain border peasants' omelette.  They used to clap slices between wedges of bread to take them and eat at noon in the shade of the olive groves.  "Omelette Verte" is Madame Baudoin's name for the sophisticated and urbane version which she serves in her Caravane of Hors d'Oeuvre at her famous La Bonne Auberge restaurant.  In the Midi, Bleia is used. We substitute spinach for the grim reason we can rarely obtain Bleia, even in rather grand shops and have been forced to bring seed from the border and raise it in our own garden.


To every 6 eggs, take:
3 oz grated Parmesan cheese
1 teacupful dry, sieved, cooked spinach puree
4 oz finely minced veal
salt and pepper to season



Butter a straight sided earthenware or heat resistant container very thickly indeed.  Whip up your eggs, add the remaining ingredients and stir them in slowly and not too thoroughly.  Turn into the pot, cover with a lid and cook on middle shelf at Gas Mark 2 until set.  Leave until cold.  The omelette will shrink away slightly from the sides of the pot. 

Turn onto a flat dish- it now resembles nothing so much as a round crusted cheese.  Serve cold in slices like a cake or galantine.