- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 18, 2006

It’s a hot summer evening, and you want a dinner that is light and quick. Not only are you “time-challenged” (we understand), but you also want to limit your time in front of a hot stove so you don’t melt into grumpy, sweaty oblivion.

One of the best solutions in the world is an omelet. So simple and obvious, you say? Well, burn this article and pretend it was your idea.

An omelet makes a fine, almost-instant meal any time of day or evening, but somehow, when served late in the day, it takes on a certain elegance.

The French don’t serve omelets for breakfast, but consider them classic light fare alongside a salad of fresh, soft lettuces and heirloom tomatoes, dressed with toasted nut oil (any kind) and a splash of lemon juice for lunch or dinner.

So, think French and pick out a good, crisp white wine — a viognier — to accompany this soon-to-be-your-very-favorite summer meal.

Some hints for making a Green Goddess omelet:

• Use a good, heavy nonstick 7- to 8-inch pan with sloping sides.

• Have all the ingredients ready and at room temperature before you begin.

• Don’t beat the eggs for too long, or they will become thin and tough when cooked. Thirty seconds of beating with a fork is usually enough.

• If you like, you can mix the eggs with a little water (1 tablespoon per egg) to make them lighter and more tender. Don’t use milk, as it has the reverse effect.

This recipe makes a single serving.

To serve more than one person, you can have two pans going at the same time, or just make the omelets one at a time.

They’re quick enough and retain heat for long enough so everyone can still eat at the same time, provided there aren’t too many people involved.

In a perfect world, you will have remembered to warm the serving plate ahead of time in a microwave.

Although not essential, this is a very nice touch.

Green Goddess omelet

A combination of finely minced fresh herbs added directly to the beaten eggs creates a beautiful green omelet. Use whatever herbs you can find at the farmers market or in the summer-abundant produce department of your favorite grocery store.

2 large eggs, at room temperature

Dash of salt

1 to 2 tablespoons finely minced mixed fresh herbs (parsley, chives, dill, basil, marjoram, thyme, savory)

1 to 2 teaspoons unsalted butter

1 to 2 tablespoons grated sharp cheddar (or a similar cheese of your choosing)

Freshly ground black pepper

Place the omelet pan over medium heat for 1 minute. While it is heating, beat the eggs in a small bowl, adding the salt and herbs.

Add the butter, and let it melt.

Don’t let the butter get too hot. It should sizzle, then settle down but not brown.

Tilt the pan in all directions to distribute the butter, then pour in the egg mixture, keeping the heat to medium.

As the eggs begin to set at the edges, carefully push the cooked portion toward the center of the pan with a small spatula.

At the same time, tilt the pan, allowing any remaining raw egg to fill the spaces.

As soon as the egg stops flowing, sprinkle the grated cheese onto half the omelet.

The egg mixture should still be moist, as it will continue cooking when removed from the pan, and you don’t want it to overcook and become leathery.

Use the spatula to fold the omelet in half, and slide or flip it onto the waiting plate.

Serve immediately, and pass a pepper mill.

Makes 1 serving.


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