- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Eggs are a wonderful asset when it comes to making a fast meal from scratch, since they often benefit from quick, gentle cooking — besides offering nutritional value and versatility.

This recipe is an old favorite with a difference: It is an omelet made in a few minutes that charms the palate with its taste of the Mediterranean region, and it evokes Provence in a classic combination of ingredients.

The ingredients that conjure up that flavor aren’t hard to come by. Olives from the pantry shelf, some Asiago cheese, tomatoes and fresh basil will do it.

Provencal omelet

1/3 cup sliced stuffed manzanilla olives, or pitted ripe green or black olives

1/3 cup diced plum tomato

1/3 cup shredded Asiago cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or parsley

2 eggs and 2 egg whites or 4 eggs (see note)

2 tablespoons water or milk (see note)

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

Combine olives, tomato, cheese and basil; set aside. Beat together eggs, water, salt and pepper. Melt butter in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until sizzling; tilt pan so butter covers bottom of pan evenly.

Add egg mixture; cook for 2 minutes or until eggs begin to set on bottom. Gently lift edges of omelet with a spatula to allow uncooked portion of eggs to flow to edges and set.

Continue cooking for 3 minutes or until center is almost set. Sprinkle olive mixture over omelet, leaving a 1-inch-wide border around the edge.

Use a large spatula to fold one edge over the filling; cook 1 to 2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and center is set. Cut omelet in half; transfer to 2 warm serving plates. Makes 2 servings.

Note: Using water and 2 egg whites, rather than milk and all whole eggs, cuts calories and fat; the following nutrition information reflects this option.

ASSOCIATED PRESS


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