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Rustic Omelet Cake Perfected Over Time

On the continuum of egg nirvana, somewhere between scrambled and baked, comes this perfectly friendly treatment.

It is a recipe perfected over time and circumstance. Longtime Washington Post food section contributor and cookbook author Lisa Yockelson’s formula combines gently pan-cooked vegetables with eggs and cheese, plus paprika and chopped parsley. Once set after a brief oven bake, a savory kind of “cake” is ready to be sliced into pie-shaped wedges.

Think of the core ingredients in the recipe (eggs, vegetables, cheese) as a kind of blueprint for other permutations: swapping one kind of good melting cheese for another; using steamed-softened greens instead of mushrooms (onions are a given); or substituting snipped chives (1 to 2 tablespoons) or tender leafy oregano (1 tablespoon) for the flat-leaf parsley. See other VARIATIONS, below.

You’ll need a heavy, 8-inch ovenproof skillet, preferably cast-iron. If you have a 9-inch skillet, reduce the baking time to about 8 minutes.

Serve with a garlicky green salad (for bacon lovers, add apple wood-smoked, thick slab bacon, grilled), and never forget how reliable that carton of eggs can be in your culinary life.

Adapted from Lisa Yockelson, whose most recent cookbook is Baking Style: Art, Craft, Recipes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011).

6 servings

Ingredients

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small onion, diced (about 2 3 cup)

6 ounces mushrooms, preferably cremini, stemmed and cut into chunks

1/4 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton)

1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

7 large eggs

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces (about 1 cup loosely packed) coarsely shredded Gruyere cheese (may substitute other Swiss cheese)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. If your 8-inch ovenproof skillet is not well-seasoned, grease the inside walls with cooking oil spray.

Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Add the onion and mushrooms, stirring to coat. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until those components begin to soften. Add the paprika and parsley; stir for 1 minute.

(At this point, the mixture can be held at room temperature for up to 30 minutes; see VARIATIONS, below.)

Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl; season lightly with salt and pepper, then stir in the cheese. Pour over the onion mixture in the skillet. Cook undisturbed for 2 minutes, then gently stir. Cook undisturbed for 1 minute, then transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until just firm and set throughout.

Transfer the skillet to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then cut the omelet cake into 6 equal wedges. Serve warm.

VARIATIONS: Return the reserved onion mixture to the skillet to reheat briefly before continuing.

Add 1 cup cooked collard greens to the whisked-egg mixture.

Add 2⁄3 cup diced smoked ham to the whisked-egg mixture.

Substitute roasted onion for the diced, sauteed onion.

Add 2⁄3 cup sliced red or green bell pepper to the onion-mushroom mixture.

Nutrition Per serving: 230 calories, 14 g protein, 4 g carbohydrates, 18 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 255 mg cholesterol, 190 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar