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September 27, 2015

Italian sausage, pepper and mushroom frittata {gluten-free}

Italian sausage, pepper and mushroom frittata, perfect for breakfast, brunch, or supper.

SAWSIDGE 'N PEPPAH: it's a real New England Italian-American thing, a favorite street food or diner meal, and you have to pronounce it properly or we'll know you're not from here. Sausage, bell peppers and onions, pan-fried and stuffed into a long sandwich roll, a combination so good it's groan-worthy. There's not much better than that, unless you want to skip the bread, in which case this frittata is for you. Think of the egg as the sandwich roll, with some cheese to bind it together. And mushrooms, because everything tastes better with mushrooms. I've lightened the frittata a bit by using chicken sausage (there are so many great varieties available in the grocery store these days, so use your favorite, and be sure it's gluten-free if that's what you need), and low-fat cheese. If you have a very large frying pan (12 inches or larger), you can double the recipe for a brunch party, or refrigerate leftovers and reheat throughout the week for easy breakfast or a light supper.

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September 6, 2015

Frittata with broccoli and garden herbs {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Frittata with broccoli and herbs makes a perfect worknight dinner!

In the nine years since I first published this recipe on The Perfect Pantry, my cooking style has changed. My kitchen has changed. My feelings about broccoli have changed, too; I feel more kindly toward it now. So it seemed likely, when I revisited the recipe to add new photos, that I'd want to make some changes in the ingredients, or cooking method, or something. Guess what? I love the recipe just as it is. Frittatas are the favorite spur-of-the-moment weeknight dinner in our house; you can throw in any leftovers, any vegetables, any herbs, and the frittata will always come through for you. For the original recipe, I plucked basil and parsley from my herb garden at the log house, but here in the city, I bought some nice-enough herbs at the supermarket, and they were fine. Refrigerate any leftover frittata, and enjoy it for breakfast the next morning after a one-minute zap in the microwave.

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July 5, 2015

Smoky egg salad lettuce boats with caramelized onions {vegetarian}

Smoky egg salad lettuce boats, a picnic-perfect twist on the classic.

When it comes to egg salad, I'm a straight-up gal. Hard-boiled eggs, really good mayonnaise, black pepper, and nothing more. Oh, occasionally I'll toss in a bit of celery. Perfection. And yet... sometimes, I have to cut loose, and when I do, I turn to my spice rack and pantry for inspiration. The combination of eggs and caramelized onions takes me back to childhood, when my grandmother used to combine the two with chopped liver for the classic Jewish appetizer. I think if she'd had smoked paprika on hand (I'm sure she never heard of it), she might have added a pinch of that as well, because I love how just the tiniest bit of smoky pepper plays off the sweet onions. Depending on whether you like your egg salad with a kick, use mild or hot smoked paprika (it also comes in a bittersweet variety, which is midway between the two on the heat scale). If lettuce boats aren't your thing, stuff this egg salad into a pita or crusty roll, or fold it into a tortilla wrap. You can make all of the components a few hours (or days) ahead, and assemble at the last minute, so it's great for picnics.

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June 10, 2015

Asparagus, mushroom, egg and goat cheese breakfast casserole {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Breakfast for dinner? How about this healthy asparagus, mushroom and goat cheese breakfast casserole.

Really, you'd be hard-pressed to come up with a combination of vegetables and cheese that I wouldn't love in an eggy breakfast casserole. However, there are some combos I love more than others, and asparagus and mushroom tops that list. Now that it's asparagus season here in New England, I'm sticking bits of spears everywhere. This casserole mixes earthy vegetables with fresh dill, and some soft goat cheese. I know goat cheese isn't to everyone's taste, so feel free to substitute feta (sharper) or mozzarella (milder), whatever you prefer. Or use two cheeses together. Egg casseroles are forgiving, so your asparagus might become broccoli or zucchini, depending on what's in season where you live. Make an egg and cheese casserole on Sunday, and portion it out for quick and easy weekday breakfasts, or serve it for weekend brunch. Always a hit!

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April 8, 2015

Egg salad with avocado, jalapeño and lime {vegetarian}

Grown-up egg salad with avocado, jalapeño and lime. Great for roll-ups or lettuce boats. [ThePerfectPantry.com]

After you've eaten your way through all of the sweets and Peeps of the holiday season, you probably have a few leftover hard-boiled eggs languishing in the refrigerator. It doesn't take much to turn those eggs into a truly peppy egg salad, one that absolutely will not remind you of what you found in your grade school lunch box. Here's an egg salad for grown-ups. It's filled with tangy little bites of jalapeño pepper, creamy avocado, and bursts of lime. Fill a roll-up, top some crackers, or serve it in a lettuce leaf. I used a low-carb flatbread one day, and romaine lettuce the next day, and both were equally delicious. Okay, maybe not as delicious as a chocolate bunny, but much healthier, and a fine way to use leftovers. I like to use my egg slicer rather than a knife to make a first pass at the eggs; the eggs won't roll around, and it makes them easier to chop and smoosh with the avocado.

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  • 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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