Whether the filling is as regal as lobster chunks, grilled bacon and arugula leaves, or as homey as always-dependable egg salad, cool and savory sandwiches are the supreme summer lunch.

And paired with a cold soup (such as tomato, avocado or zucchini), a good sandwich makes a delectable dinner when the temperature soars and humidity prevails.

For sandwiches, pita bread is an unsurpassed container, be it for a creamy filling (such as chicken, tuna, shrimp, turkey or egg), chopped vegetables and/or legumes (such as chick peas or cannellini beans), or succulent grilled food (most notably chicken, lamb or beef).

A pocket sandwich makes a neat, dripless package. Arranged on a tray with a salad or relish, it can be easily transported to the back porch or garden, and it is a welcome addition to the picnic hamper.

For sandwich-making, pita bread should be warmed slightly to render it pliable, and the fillings should be cushioned by some greenery -- place a nest of shredded romaine lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, arugula leaves, or small watercress sprigs inside each bread round before piling in the goods.

CHOPPED VEGETABLE SALAD PITAS (4 servings)

This sandwich celebrates the bounty of the summer farm stand. Grilled vegetables can be chopped and added to the filling mixture, if you happen to have any on hand.

1/4 cup sour cream

1/3 cup plain yogurt

2 tablespoons minced dill leaves

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

8 red radishes, thinly sliced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

2 ribs celery, diced

2 cups shredded romaine lettuce

1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 large whole-wheat pita breads, warmed

For the dressing, combine the sour cream, yogurt, dill and cumin in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, pepper, radishes, onion, celery, lettuce and cheese; toss well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Partially slit the pita bread open along the seam for each sandwich. Tuck in 1/4 of the salad mixture. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 271 calories, 12 gm protein, 31 gm carbohydrates, 11 gm fat, 2 gm saturated fat, 9 mg cholesterol, 378 mg sodium.

CURRIED TUNA SALAD PITAS (4 servings)

A crisp cucumber salad would be a tasty accompaniment to these sandwiches.

1 1/2 teaspoons good-quality curry powder

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup chopped scallions (light green and white parts only)

2 6 1/2-ounce cans tuna packed in water, drained and flaked

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 large plain pita breads, warmed

1 cup shredded romaine lettuce

1 cup alfalfa sprouts

Place the curry powder in a small saucepan, set over low heat, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant, shaking the pan often. Turn the curry powder into a bowl and cool completely. Stir in the mayonnaise, scallions and tuna. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Partially slit the pita bread open along the seam for each sandwich. Tuck in 1/4 cup lettuce, 1/4 of the tuna mixture, and 1/4 cup sprouts. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 369 calories, 30 gm protein, 22 gm carbohydrates, 18 gm fat, 3 gm saturated fat, 49 mg cholesterol, 682 mg sodium.

SHRIMP AND AVOCADO PITAS (4 servings)

A spoonful of tomato salsa can be added to the filling, if you wish.

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro leaves

1 pound small shrimp, steamed, peeled and deveined

1 ripe avocado, peeled, halved, pitted and cut into chunks

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 large plain pita breads, warmed

1 1/2 cups shredded romaine lettuce

Combine the mayonnaise, lime juice and cilantro in a large bowl. Fold in the shrimp and avocado chunks. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Partially slit the pita bread open along the seam for each sandwich. Tuck in 1/4 of the shredded lettuce and 1/4 of the shrimp salad mixture. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 439 calories, 29 gm protein, 26 gm carbohydrates, 25 gm fat, 4 gm saturated fat, 184 mg cholesterol, 495 mg sodium.

HERBED EGG SALAD PITAS (4 servings)

A dash of prepared hot mustard peps up the suave blend of hard-cooked eggs, mayonnaise and flecks of minced herbs.

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

1 teaspoon prepared Chinese-style hot mustard

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves

2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves

5 extra-large eggs, hard-cooked

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 large whole-wheat pita breads, warmed

1 1/2 cups shredded romaine lettuce

Blend together the mayonnaise, mustards, parsley and tarragon in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and crush them with a potato masher. Stir well and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Partially slit the pita bread open along the seam for each sandwich. Tuck in 1/4 of the shredded lettuce and 1/4 of the egg salad. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 340 calories, 12 gm protein, 23 gm carbohydrates, 22 gm fat, 4 gm saturated fat, 353 mg cholesterol, 441 mg sodium.

TURKEY AND ROASTED RED PEPPER SALAD PITAS (4 servings)

About 3 tablespoons chopped oil-cured black olives may be added to the salad mixture along with the turkey breast.

1 red bell pepper

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons plain yogurt

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves

1 pound roasted turkey breast, boned (if necessary), skinned and cubed

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 large plain pita breads, warmed

1 cup small watercress sprigs

Char the red pepper on all sides under a preheated broiler or on the grill, place in a paper bag, close tightly and let stand for 30 minutes. Peel, core and deseed the pepper; cut into small pieces.

Blend together the mayonnaise, yogurt and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Fold through the turkey breast and red pepper pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Partially slit the pita bread open along the seam for each sandwich. Tuck in 1/4 of the watercress sprigs and 1/4 of the turkey salad. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 322 calories, 22 gm protein, 23 gm carbohydrates, 16 gm fat, 2 gm saturated fat, 59 mg cholesterol, 356 mg sodium.

Lisa Yockelson's most recent book in her series on country baking is "Country Cookies: An Old-Fashioned Collection."

How to Stuff a Wild Pita Bread

Fillings for pita sandwiches can be made from almost anything cooked on the grill (chicken, pork, lamb, beef, shrimp), make-ahead vegetable ragouts, seafood salads, cured meats and the like:

Cool caponata or ratatouille, with or without flaked tuna.

Crab salad enlivened with capers.

Cool, grilled chunks of boneless and skinless chicken breast (marinated first in yogurt, cumin and coriander) combined with a yogurt-dressed cucumber salad.

Paper-thin slices of flank steak, grilled red onions, sliced vine-ripened tomatoes, and crumbled Roquefort cheese.

Chicken salad charged with minced fresh herbs.

Diced smoked chicken or turkey, moistened with mayonnaise and plum chutney.

Smoked fish salad.

A medley of grilled vegetables, tossed with herb-imbued olive oil and a squirt of good vinegar.

Ham salad made with baked ham cut into julienne slices, mustard, mayonnaise, and a few tablespoons of chopped pickled watermelon or cantaloupe rind.

Cool slices of roasted (or grilled) pork, with guacamole and shredded lettuce.

A mixture of chick peas, alfalfa sprouts, chopped tomatoes, minced green onions, slivers of green pepper and crumbled feta cheese blended with oregano-seasoned yogurt.

Grilled Canadian bacon, onion or red pepper relish and a chopped salad of lettuce and tomatoes.