No sweat breakfasts… tomato basil pesto, egg white olive oil omelettes


For someone who is not a morning person putting together breakfast is a nightmare. Make that a working day and you are talking off issues that even Freud would not be able to analyse.

I walked into the kitchen on Friday morning with no plan. I bought a loaf of multigrain bread from the American Express Bakery the previous evening. I thought I will make a tomato and butter sandwich. I was too sleepy to make an omelette.

Then I saw my mortar and pestle. A discussion with @vodcaholic on twitter the previous night on pesto recipes floated in my sub-conscious. I opened the fridge. Saw the pine nuts. Chopped. Pounded. Spooned. Before I knew what was happening I had made myself a fresh tomato basil pine-nut pesto. I added a dash of the raspberry balsamic, that Maunika of Cook In a Curry gave me, to this which livened up the mix.

The spread paired very well with the surprisingly tasty multigrain bread. Just the right touch of tart and zing that one needs in the morning. I used the spread idea as a base for an egg white omelette the next day. That too was a pretty good combination and brought some variety to the done to death breakfast item of omelettes.

The best thing about the spread was that it was fresh. Took a minute to make and yet involved some vigorous pounding which gets some shape to the arms. It was fairly full flavoured and did away with the need for butter and cheese. Vegetarian! Even the weight loss obsessed health nutters would approve. And, without the garlic which you have in a traditional pesto, you were all nice and kissable.

All of this rationalisation was of course in retrospect. I had no idea of what was going to come out of the kitchen when I entered it.

If you listen very carefully food will talk to you.

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And here are the recipes:

Tomato basil pesto:


  • Take 1-0 – 12 pine nuts and pound them in a mortar and pestle
  • Add about 10- 12 fresh basil leaves, preferably chopped or torn, and pound
  • Add half a finely chopped tomato. Pound
  • Add a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar if you have some
  • Done (You can put the whole thing in a mixer and grind it instead of pounding it yourself)

Basil (@ Lallu’s), pine nuts (Vijay Stores, Regal Plus)  etc are very easily available at Pali Market at Bandra, Mumbai



Tomato basil pesto egg white olive oil omelette

  • Crack two eggs into a bowl. Scoop out the yellows with a spoon or the empty half of an egg shell. Add half a teaspoon of salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of milk to add some body & texture. Vigorously beat/ stir the egg mixture with a fork
  • Heat some regular (not extra virgin olive oil) in a flat non stick pan My omelettes would always break till we recently bought a flat pan and a flat ladle. Makes a lot of difference. The guys from Borges, the olive oil company, sent me three types of olive oil which I use quite liberally. So there guys, you have got your exposure and thanks for sending the stuff. Appreciate your not asking me to write about you
  • Pour the egg mix on to the pan once the oil the warms so that the egg spreads across the pan
  • Then gently spoon in the pesto across various parts of the egg
  • Fold the omelette by pushing each half towards the centre
  • You are done … the flavour of pesto spreads across the omelette. The tangy taste of the tomato and sharp, fresh taste of basil are distinct and hit you in waves

The multi-grain bread at AEB at Rs 35 is highly recommended. Hardly tastes ‘healthy”