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Kale Omelet / Baked in a Sourdough Boule

This kale omelet recipe is from the cookbook, Basic to Brilliant, Y’all, by Virginia Willis.

Author Virginia Willis writes:

Bagged greens may have saved a Southern foodway. Meme would have never used them, and Mama thinks they have too many stems, but this generation? I love the prewashed bags of winter greens. Lazy? Well, of course it is. When I am able to purchase kale or collards from my local farmer’s market, I do; but for convenience, bagged kale, turnip, collard, and mustard greens are a great time-saver. For this recipe, give them a quick rinse under cold running water to freshen them, pick out the larger tough stems, and give the leaves another few chops with a knife.

I am pretty adamant, however, about not using nonstick skillets except with eggs and delicate creatures such as the Classic Crepes (page 225) or Parmesan Tuile (page 201), or when trying to use less oil, as with the Panfried Shrimp Po-Boy (page 94). For cooking and searing of meats, nonstick doesn’t allow the fond, the yummy browned bits, to develop. For egg cookery, however, I think nonstick is essential.

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Photo credit: Helene Dujardin

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Kale Omelet / Baked in a Sourdough Boule

Featured Recipe From: Basic to Brilliant, Y’all: 150 Refined Southern Recipes and Ways to Dress Them Up for Company

Yield: Serves 6 to 8


  • 3 slices thick bacon, cut into lardons (see page 54), or 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 onion, preferably Vidalia, chopped
  • 5 cups hearty greens (such as kale, chard, or mustard greens), cleaned, tough stems removed,
  • and chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (2 ounces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese (6 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a plate with paper towels.

Heat a large nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp and brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to the prepared plate; set aside.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings (reserve the excess fat for another use or dispose). Alternately, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet over high heat until shimmering.

Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium-low, add half the greens, and toss until they begin to wilt, about
1 minute. Add the remaining greens and season with salt and pepper. Add the water. Toss to coat. Decrease the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are wilted and tender, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the greens to a large bowl, leaving any cooking liquid behind.

Rinse and dry the skillet. To the greens, add the eggs, 1/4 cup of the grated cheese, the reserved bacon, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. Fold in the ricotta. Season with salt and pepper.

Return the now-clean skillet to the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil and rotate the skillet to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is shimmering, pour in the egg mixture and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Cook over medium-low heat until the omelet is barely set at the edges, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup grated cheese over the eggs.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until set, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and, using a butter knife or long spatula, loosen the omelet from the sides of the skillet. Give the skillet a shake and slide the omelet out onto a clean cutting board. (Don't use a knife in the nonstick skillet!) Using a serrated knife, slice into wedges and serve immediately.


Baked in a Sourdough Boule - Your brunch guests will certainly think this is Brilliant.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking liner or parchment paper. Slice off the top of an 8-inch round sourdough or firm white loaf; remove the bread in chunks, leaving a shell. Reserve the bread for another use. Prepare the filling. Instead of returning the egg and kale mixture to the skillet, transfer the mixture to the prepared boule. Top with remaining 1/4 cup grated cheese. Bake until the eggs are set, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. Present on a wooden cutting board with a serrated knife. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

© 2011 Virginia Willis

Reprinted with permission from Basic to Brilliant, Y'all: 150 Refined Southern Recipes and Ways to Dress Them Up for Company, by Virginia Willis (Ten Speed Press)

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