French Layered Baked Omelette

(with spinach, tomato and cheese)

1 lb spinach

 7 Tbs olive oil

2 cloves garlic – minced

1 lb fresh tomato*

pinch fresh thyme

few large basil leaves

coarse salt

9 eggs

9 Tbs heavy cream

3 oz Gruyere cheese

ground white pepper

ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350F

Preparing Spinach: Lightly sauté garlic & spinach w/ 3 Tbs oil and coarse salt.  Set aside to cool.

Preparing Tomatoes: Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds the plunge in to cold water. Peel tomatoes, cut in half and press out water and seeds.  Chop coarsely.  Sauté tomatoes in 2 Tbs oil with thyme, basil and salt.  Cook over high heat until water has evaporated.  Set aside to cool.  Set out three 1-quart bowls. Bowl # 1: Mix 3 eggs with 3 Tbs cream, cooked drained tomatoes, salt and pepper.  Bowl # 2: Mix 3 eggs with 3 Tbs cream, 3 oz grated Gruyere cheese, salt and pepper.  Bowl # 3: Mix 3 eggs with 3 Tbs cream, cooked drained spinach, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Assembling:  Note: You will need a 7-8 cup pan and a larger one to set it in. Oil the 7-8 cup pan. Pour Bowl #1 in to pan, set pan in larger pan of water (water should go half way up the sides of inner pan). Bake for approx 15 minutes until eggs are very lightly set.  Gently pour Bowl #2 over first layer and return to oven for approx 15 minutes.  Gently pour/spoon Bowl #3 over top evenly.  Return to oven for approx 20 minutes.

Removing and serving: Let cool in its water bath for 15 minutes.  Slip a knife along the edges.  Set a large plate over the pan, then very carefully flip it upside down to release the omelet.  Egg dish should come out as a smooth, colorful custard.  Dish can be served in
wedges or slices.

* You may also use canned chopped tomatoes

Adapted from a recipe in Roger Verge’s Cuisine of the South of France by Roger Verges