I am rarely a breakfast-for-dinner kind of person. However, I can make an exception when it comes to omelets. Whether I'm pressed for time or just in the mood for a light supper, a "clean out the fridge" omelet goes a long way toward making me feel full and satisfied for the rest of the evening.

 

Our son Gio, on the other hand, just can't wrap his head around the idea that eggs could be served for dinner. In his mind, eggs are strictly a breakfast food no matter how they're prepared. He loves a hearty omelet filled with breakfast meat like ham or sausage, a bit of good cheese, and a host of fresh vegetables that he wouldn't normally otherwise eat, like fennel and mushrooms.

 

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

Rich in a host of vitamins and minerals, eggs are considered one of the ultimate superfoods, and they are a great addition to a healthy diet. Eggs are an excellent source of quality protein which helps your body to feel full, a great benefit considering that each large egg has only 70 calories. In fact, for a typical healthy individual, the American Heart Association now recommends eating one egg per day, or up to seven per week.

 

With my mind on eating healthy and a fridge full of springtime foods left over from Easter, last Friday I enjoyed a beautiful omelet for dinner featuring grilled asparagus, fresh chives, a sprinkling of feta cheese, a few grape tomatoes and a generous amount of Norwegian smoked salmon.

 

The next morning, I made Gio a breakfast omelet with diced ham, cheddar cheese and the leftovers from a veggie platter including bell peppers, fennel, mushrooms, onions and spinach. Each omelet offered a completely different taste experience, but the process for making them was the same.

 

Despite what many think, omelets are easy to make and the following five steps are my key tips to ensuring success.

 

1. Use a good, non-stick pan and make sure it is hot before adding the egg mixture. For a two egg omelet, a 7- or 8-inch pan is best; for three egg omelets, use a 10-inch pan.

 

2. Prepare all of your ingredients and tools before starting the omelet. Heat meats until cooked through, and raw vegetables until they start to soften. Have a spatula and plate at the ready.

 

3. Add water to your eggs to make the omelet light and fluffy, and fresh herbs for flavor, then beat the mixture vigorously with a fork until fully blended.

 

4. Don't overload the omelet with fillings - a delicate balance is best to allow the eggs to shine.

 

5. Don't let uncooked egg build up in the center of your omelet - use a spatula to gently lift the edge around the omelet, then tilt the pan so that the batter runs underneath the edge.

 

Omelets are a simple, versatile and delicious way to boost your energy, and your health, any time of day. Bon appetit!

 

Sarah's Springtime Omelet

Serves: 1

 

Ingredients:

2 eggs (7- or 8-inch pan), 3 eggs (10-inch pan)

1 to 2 tablespoons water, lukewarm

1 to 2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Cooking spray or 1 teaspoon butter, unsalted

 

Filling:

½ teaspoon vegetable or canola oil

2 asparagus spears, bottom 2-inches removed, cut into 1-inch pieces (blanched or grilled)

¼ cup grape tomatoes, quartered

1 tablespoon feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup smoked salmon, roughly chopped

 

Directions:

In a medium bowl, use a fork or whisk to beat the eggs and water until well combined and frothy. Add the fresh chives, salt and pepper and mix to combine; set aside.

 

Cut blanched or grilled asparagus into 1-inch pieces and sauté with chopped tomatoes for 1 to 2 minutes in ½ teaspoon oil over medium heat, just until heated through; transfer to small bowl and set aside.

 

Spray pan lightly with cooking spray (or add butter) and heat pan over medium-high heat until hot; tilt pan to evenly coat with melted butter. Pour egg mixture into the hot pan.

 

Once the edges are firm enough to lift, use a spatula to work your way around the pan, gently raising the edges and tilting the pan so that the uncooked mixture runs beneath the raised edge.

 

Reduce heat to medium or medium-low and cook until the omelet appears only slightly wet in the center. Add the feta cheese on one half and cook for one minute, then evenly distribute the remaining ingredients over the cheese.

 

Use a spatula to gently flip the uncovered half of the omelet directly onto the covered side. Cook for 1 to 2 more minutes to thoroughly heat the ingredients. Transfer to plate and serve immediately.

 

To blanch asparagus: Bring a pot of water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat; add asparagus and cook for 60 to 90 seconds, then transfer immediately to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, transfer asparagus to a plate lined with paper towels to dry.

 

 

Gio's Deluxe Leftovers Omelet

Serves: 1

 

Ingredients:

2 eggs (7 or 8-inch pan), 3 eggs (10-inch pan)

1 to 2 tablespoons water, lukewarm

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon butter, unsalted

 

¼ cup each of the following:

- shredded cheddar cheese

- ham or cooked breakfast sausage, small-diced

- bell pepper, diced

- yellow onion, diced

- baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced

- fresh fennel, diced

- baby spinach, stems removed

 

Directions:

In a medium bowl, use a fork or whisk to beat the eggs with the water until well combined and frothy. Add the salt and pepper and mix to combine; set aside.

 

Heat vegetable oil in pan over medium heat, then sauté the bell peppers, onion, mushrooms and fennel until they start to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes; transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.

 

Wipe pan with a paper towel, then heat butter in pan over medium-high heat until hot; tilt pan to evenly coat with melted butter. Pour egg mixture into the pan.

 

Once the edges are firm enough to lift, use a spatula to work your way around the pan, gently raising the edges and tilting the pan so that the uncooked mixture runs beneath the raised edge.

 

Reduce heat to medium or medium-low and cook until the omelet appears only slightly wet to mostly dry in the center. Sprinkle the cheddar cheese evenly over one half of the omelet and let sit for a minute or two until it begins to melt. Add the remaining ingredients and top with the baby spinach.

 

Use a spatula to gently flip the uncovered half of the omelet directly onto the covered side. Cook for 1 to 2 more minutes to thoroughly heat the ingredients. Transfer to plate and serve immediately.

"Home With the Lost Italian" is a weekly column written by Sarah Nasello featuring recipes by her husband, Tony Nasello. The couple owned Sarello's in Moorhead and lives in Fargo with their 12-year-old son, Giovanni. Readers can reach them at sarahnasello//thelostitalian.areavoices.com.