I never tire of saying how much I love eggs and how versatile they are. I often say that if there is one ingredient I could not live without it would be eggs. And they are good value.

This omelette is ideal any time of the day. It is a good snack for when children come home from school. You could add in cooked ham, or chicken, or goat’s cheese for flavour. I love an omelette with red onion relish. And for a bigger meal serve with potato wedges.

The second recipe today is an Italian-inspired dish, baked eggs. It is rich and delicious and an ideal treat for brunch or lunch. You could try it with some sliced ham, or baked ham, or a nice cheddar.

Happy cooking,


Parma ham baked eggs

Serves four

olive oil, for spraying

4 semi-sun-dried tomatoes, diced

4 fresh basil leaves, torn

4 large eggs (preferably free-range)

4 thin slices of parma ham

4 tbsp crème fraîche

2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Snipped fresh chives, to garnish

Steamed asparagus, to serve

Parma ham baked eggs. \ Food styling: Janine Kennedy. Photography: Claire Nash

1 Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/gas mark 5).

2 Spray 4 x 200ml (7fl oz) baking dishes with olive oil.

3 Sprinkle the sun-dried tomatoes and basil into the bottom of each one. Place a slice of Parma ham on top of the tomatoes. Then crack in an egg.

4 Add a spoonful of crème fraîche and scatter the Parmesan on top. Season with salt and pepper.

5 Arrange the baking dishes in a shallow roasting tin and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of each dish. Carefully place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, until the eggs are set and the cheese is bubbling.

6 Set each dish onto a plate and garnish with the chives.

7 Serve with a separate plate of steamed asparagus.

Irish breakfast omelette

Serves one

2 tsp olive oil

25g (1oz) pancetta (smoked bacon lardons)

50g (2oz) button mushrooms, sliced

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

50g (2oz) baby spinach leaves

2 egg whites (preferably free-range)

1 egg (preferably free-range)

1 tbsp water

4 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters (preferably vine-ripened)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lightly dressed crisp green salad, to serve

1 Heat a medium non-stick frying pan over a medium heat.

2 Add 1 tsp of the oil and fry the pancetta for one to two minutes, until it has released its fat and become crispy.

3 Add the mushrooms and spring onion and season with salt and pepper. Continue to sauté for two to three minutes, until tender. Fold in the spinach and allow it to just wilt down.

4 Tip into a sieve set over a bowl to drain off any excess liquid and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

5 Whisk the egg whites and the whole egg with the tablespoon of water and season lightly with salt and pepper.

6 Wipe out the frying pan and return it to a medium heat with the remaining teaspoon of oil. Add the egg white mixture, swirling to evenly cover the bottom of the pan. Cook for 90 seconds to two minutes until just set.

7 Using a rubber spatula, lift the omelette and allow the runny egg white mixture to flow underneath.

8 Remove the omelette from the heat and spoon the pancetta, mushroom and spinach mixture on one side and scatter the cherry tomatoes on top. Fold over and slide onto a plate.

9 Add a small mound of salad alongside to serve. CL