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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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June 30, 2013

Recipe for tarragon and roasted red pepper deviled eggs {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Tarragon and roasted red pepper deviled eggs. Light lunch or appetizer.

One of the most reliable perennial herbs in my garden, tarragon arrives early in Spring, alongside the chives. The tender leaves of tarragon impart a faintly licorice flavor, and you either love it or hate it. We love it, especially with eggs, and these tarragon and roasted red pepper deviled eggs make a perfect light lunch. If you're not sure how you feel about tarragon, use half the amount called for in the recipe, and if tarragon isn't your thing, substitute garden-fresh parsley or basil. Of course, deviled eggs always go first at a party, so add these to your repertoire if you're the person others rely on to bring the deviled eggs.

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June 23, 2013

Recipe for chicken and egg salad with tarragon mustard vinaigrette

Chicken and egg salad with fresh tarragon, mayo-free, perfect for picnics.

Does it really matter which came first? What's important is that the chicken and the egg came together in this summery salad, tossed with a tarragon mustard vinaigrette that loves them equally. On the day I took these photographs, I made the salad with celery, the stalk plus the leaves. Had I waited a few days, I would have swapped in lovage from my herb garden. The young tarragon leaves, also from my garden, added a nice undertone of licorice; if the flavor isn't your thing, substitute fresh parsley or dill. Serve on toasted bread with some lettuce leaves, or use the leaves as a wrap for a lovely presentation with fewer carbs. This salad contains no mayonnaise, and that makes it a perfect candidate for the picnic basket.

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June 9, 2013

Recipe for zucchini, bacon and feta quiche

Zucchini, bacon and feta quiche, great for make-ahead entertaining.

When we lived in Boston, friends with plots in the local community garden would deposit zucchini on our front stoop, and as we didn't have our own garden, my husband Ted and I relished the unexpected gift of other people's bounty. Little did we realize we were doing them a favor by taking those excess zucchini. Here in rural Rhode Island, it's common for folks to come to visit in late summer brandishing zucchini large and small, their eyes begging us to take those all-too-abundant vegetables off their hands. I love the small zucchini, tender enough to eat raw, or toss on the grill, or dice into this zucchini, bacon and feta quiche. (Save the canoe-size specimens for flotation devices. Or for soup.) Quiche tastes best at room temperature, which makes this recipe great for make-ahead entertaining.

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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