Get another meal from leftover vegetables with this ricotta souffle

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Leftover vegetables get a glorious second life in this elegant ricotta souffle. My friend Jose made lunch one day by combining cooked vegetables he had in the refrigerator with an egg and ricotta cheese. It was so delicious and easy I decided to create my own quick version. This one, which uses sauteed vegetables with ricotta cheese and bread crumbs, takes only 20 minutes.

Cutting the vegetables into thin, julienne or matchstick strips helps them to cook faster. Also, spreading the mixture in a thin layer in a baking dish reduces oven time.

The souffle is served with bruschetta. It's a good way to use up leftover bread.

This meal contains 516 calories per serving with 23 percent of calories from fat.

Helpful hints

• Any vegetables can be used. Make sure they are cooked through before adding to the cheese.

• Vegetables can be sliced in the food processor instead of cut into julienned strips.

• Bruschetta can be made with any bread.

Fred Tasker's wine suggestion: This dish would be nicely matched by a fat California or Australian chardonnay or a nice, fruity Beaujolais.

Ricotta Soufflé

Makes 2 servings.

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 medium zucchini cut in julienne strips, about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch thick (1 cup)

2 carrots cut in julienne strips about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch thick (1 cup)

1/4 pound mushrooms cut in julienne strips about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch thick (1 1/2 cups)

1/2 small onion cut in julienne strips about 2 inches long and 1/2-inch thick (1/2 cup)

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil plus 2 tablespoons

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup nonfat ricotta cheese

1 whole egg

Olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a medium-size, nonstick skillet. Add zucchini, carrots, mushrooms and onion, cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix 1/4 cup chopped basil with breadcrumbs and add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove vegetables to a bowl and mix with ricotta cheese and egg. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread in a thin layer in an 8-by-10-inch baking dish. Spread bread crumbs on top. Spray with olive oil spray. Bake 15 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons chopped basil on top and serve.Per serving: 336 calories (25 percent from fat), 9.5 g fat (1.9 g saturated, 4.9 g monounsaturated), 156 mg cholesterol, 26.0 g protein, 38.1 g carbohydrates, 10.5 g fiber, 445 mg sodium.

Quick Bruschetta

Makes 2 servings.

1/2 whole-wheat French baguette

1 medium clove garlic

1 small tomato, diced, (1/2 cup)

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Line a baking tray with foil. Cut baguette into 1-inch thick slices and place on the tray in the oven with Ricotta Soufflé. Toast until golden, about 3 minutes. Cut garlic clove in half and rub cut halves over bread slices. Toss diced tomato and olive oil together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon over slices and serve.

Per serving: 180 calories (19 percent from fat), 3.9 g fat (0.6 g saturated, 2.3 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 5.5 g protein, 31.3 g carbohydrates, 2.6 g fiber, 273 mg sodium.