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August 8, 2013

Recipe for zucchini, egg and goat cheese breakfast casserole {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Zucchini, egg and goat cheese breakfast casserole (for any time of day).

As a precaution, for the past few days we've taken to locking our car doors. Here in the country, we usually don't do that -- in fact, people leave their keys in the car, and the car running, in the local supermarket parking lot! -- but it's zucchini season, and we have to guard against the random zucchini deposited on the passenger seat. Yes, it happens, and nowhere -- not the porch, the front stoop, the mailbox or the car -- is safe. One of the recipes in my summer e-book, 23 Zucchini: Fast, fun, easy recipes from The Perfect Pantry kitchen, this zucchini, egg and goat cheese breakfast casserole is a favorite way to cook those gifts of zucchini from gardening friends or the farmers market. Egg and cheese casseroles are an easy go-to for busy weekdays and lazy weekends; enjoy them for breakfast, or with a green salad for lunch or supper. This is quiche without the crust, which makes it a great gluten-free main dish. (Please check out the e-book for many more ideas for cooking with zucchini. The book -- for iPad, Kindle, smart phone or computer -- is fun, inexpensive, and people are saying nice things about it.)

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July 7, 2013

Recipe for egg and cheese casserole with broccoli, leeks, bell pepper and feta {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Breakfast, lunch or supper: egg and cheese casserole with broccoli and feta.

Why don't we cook with leeks more often? There's no denying that every egg and cheese casserole benefits from some onion undertone, but that doesn't always have to come from an actual onion. Shallots, scallions, chives, leeks: each of these alliums lends a particular pizzazz to eggs. Of all, leeks are the sweetest, the most gentle, the most subtle. And, yes, they are the most labor-intensive, thanks to an edible root that sometimes traps soil between the paper-thin layers. Really, though, leeks are easy to prepare for cooking, and they're absolutely worth the work. Trim off the green leaves, and cut off the root. Slice the leek lengthwise, halfway through. Under cold running water, peel back the layers slightly to rinse out any dirt trapped between them, then slice or dice for your recipe. Serve this broccoli, leek, red pepper and feta egg and cheese casserole for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or a light supper. It comes together in less than an hour, or you can make it ahead and store in the refrigerator for up to three days.

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May 5, 2013

Recipe for cauliflower salad with white beans, feta and pine nuts {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Enjoy this cauliflower salad with white beans, feta and pine nuts warm or cold.

The Year I Learn to Love Cauliflower continues to challenge me, and nothing scares me more than the prospect of raw cauliflower, undisguised by potatoes or hot sauce. Recently I decided to take the plunge, with this salad that pairs the vegetable of the year with creamy white beans, salty feta and crunchy pine nuts. Not a disguise, exactly. More like a distraction, with so much texture that I really didn't concentrate on the cauliflower. If you're a cauliflower lover, adjust the proportion of ingredients to highlight the vegetable. If you're a cheese-a-holic, add more feta. The lemon vinaigrette wraps everything together. The longer it sits, the more tender the cauliflower becomes, thanks to the mustard in the dressing. My husband Ted approved this salad for you; I can't say I'm in love with raw cauliflower, yet, but I'm working on it.

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April 28, 2013

Recipe for roasted red pepper, basil and parmesan johnnycakes {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Mini roasted red pepper, basil and parmesan cheese johnnycakes, a gluten-free appetizer.

Until I moved to Rhode Island a decade ago, I'd never heard of johnnycakes (which are also spelled jonnycakes, so let's get that out of the way up front). Johnnycakes, made of cornmeal and gluten-free, are to Rhode Islanders what pancakes are to the rest of the world. Most often they're served just like pancakes, with butter and a glug of local maple syrup. These savory two-bite roasted red pepper, basil and parmesan johnnycakes fit nicely into the end of the day, as a cocktail party appetizer or snack at a barbecue. As with any recipe that has just a few ingredients, be sure to use the best cheese, basil and pepper you can find. Serve them hot off the griddle, and spell them whichever way you like.

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April 25, 2013

Recipe for tomato vegetable soup with cheese ravioli {vegetarian}

Quick and easy tomato vegetable soup with cheese ravioli is perfect on a rainy day.

During a raging rain storm, when you can't work in the garden, you have time to do many things. Read a book. Take a nap. Build a fire in the fireplace. Talk to the cats. Root around in the pantry. This tomato vegetable soup with cheese ravioli is a forgiving soup. If you want to use up a bit of potato, toss it in. Fresh chives from your garden? Add a handful. Some shreds of rotisserie chicken? Sure, why not? Let Mother Nature have her temper tantrum. After all, you have a perfect pantry, and you can always make soup.

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Welcome to The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my tiny kitchen in Boston's South End, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives. Thanks so much for visiting.

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