On summer evenings there is little inclination to cook. A preferred supper for me is a lightly cooked omelette, prepared with the off-pieces of vegetables and rinds of cheese discarded in the bottom of the fridge. A fast sauté in olive oil and butter refreshes their flavour and a good seasoning with grated cheese packs a good value punch. Add plenty of finely chopped fresh herbs, especially fresh mint or basil leaves and the transformation is complete.


6-8 spears of asparagus

2 organic courgettes

2 tablespoons olive oil and a blob of butter

5 large free-range eggs

150g full flavoured cheese: Pecorino, Parmigiano, Mull cheddar

Handful each of flat leaf parsley and fresh mint, finely chopped

Sea salt and black pepper


Prepare the asparagus. Snap the stem where it naturally breaks and set aside the stalks (you can use these later to flavour a vegetable stock).

Trim the spears and cut them in half lengthwise. Pot in boiling salted water for 5 minutes and drain.

Wash and cut the courgettes into thin slices.

Warm the oil and butter in a heavy bottomed frying pan.

Add the courgettes in a single layer and sauté over a high heat until they are softened and browned at the edges.

Add the drained asparagus.


Beat the eggs in a large bowl and season.

Mix in half of the grated cheese and the chopped parsley.

Pour the mixture over the sautéed vegetables.

Let the bottom of the omelette set and start to brown, tipping the frying pan so that the egg gently cooks.

As soon as the bottom is set add the mint leaves and use a spatula to fold the eggs over and sprinkle with the last of the grated cheese.

Cook for a further 5 minutes to form a large fluffy cushion.


Instead of buying ready-made bags of salad leaves, make your own salad mixture. Buy a selection of whole lettuce, endives and radicchio. Pull of some leaves of each and wash well in salted water making sure you rinse off any grit.

Add some slices of spring onions, radishes, cucumber, and red onion to add crunch and tartness.

A few leaves of fresh herbs add a refreshing burst of flavour: rocket, mint, tarragon, marjoram all grow easily in the garden or on the window ledge.

Dressing is easy: sea salt, 3 parts olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.

You can keep small bags of prepared leaves ready in the fridge in plastic bags for up to three days, ready to dress as required.