For light, summer fare, you gotta break a few eggs


July 03, 1991|By Charlyne Varkonyi

Lighten up. The foods of summer should leave a pleasantly full feeling in the tummy, not an "I ate the whole thing" heaviness.

Omelets always make a good hot weather choice, but you'll need to detour from the usual Cheddar cheese or western versions in order to start jaded taste buds salivating. This Fastlane Feast omelet takes an unusual twist, relying on ready-made pesto sauce to do double duty -- as a flavoring and as a liquid for sauteing the vegetables. The Italian theme is carried through with use of a mild, creamy ricotta cheese filling.

If you are watching cholesterol in your diet, you may want to use an egg substitute, such as Egg Beaters or Scramblers. Substitute 1/4 cup of the liquid egg substitute for each whole egg.

This is a filling entree and should be more than enough to eat when served with a salad and French bread. If you are particularly hungry, you can add pan-fried potatoes. Make the ending of the meal memorable by serving good quality French vanilla ice cream, topped with succulent fresh raspberries.

The cooking time is really quick so you will want to have the salad made, the bread cut and the raspberries washed before starting to prepare the omelet.

Items you should have in your pantry include: green onions, salt and pepper, butter, eggs, milk, Parmesan cheese, salad greens and salad dressing.

Your 10-item-or-less shopping list should include:

* 1 container (7 ounces) pesto sauce, found in the dairy case

* 1 bunch fresh broccoli

* 3 white mushrooms

* 1 bunch fresh basil

* 1 container (8 ounces) ricotta cheese

* 1 pint French vanilla ice cream

* 1 container (6 ounces) raspberries

Omelet primavera with ricotta and pesto

Makes 2 servings.

3 tablespoons pesto (already prepared from the dairy case)

1 cup sliced broccoli florets

3 white mushrooms, sliced

2 green onions, sliced

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon butter

5 eggs

1 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

4 fresh basil leaves, chopped, for garnish

Put pesto in a frying pan and heat on high until sizzling. Add broccoli, mushrooms, green onions and saute until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Melt butter in 12-inch, non-stick frying pan on medium high heat. Put eggs, milk and Parmesan cheese in a medium-size mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Add egg mixture to frying pan and turn heat down to medium high. Shake the pan while cooking and wait for bubbles to form in the egg mixture. When only a little bit of liquid is left, add the vegetable mixture on half of the omelet. Then add the ricotta cheese and cook until heated, about 1 minute.

Using two spatulas, bring the ends of the empty half of the omelet up so that the egg mixture is folded nearly in half. Allow a small part of the filling to show for proper presentation. Cut the omelet in half and serve garnished with fresh basil leaves.

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