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September 1, 2013

Herbes de Provence (Recipe: marinated mozzarella) {vegetarian, gluten-free}

First published in June 2008, this updated ingredient post features new photos and links. Marinated mozzarella cheese takes just minutes to make, and a few days to steep in the good flavors of the herbs. For a quick appetizer, just add toothpicks.

Marinated bocconcini, small balls of mozzarella in herbs.

Who was more ingenious, the Provencal cook who first tossed together a few herbs growing on a hillside and gave it a fancy-sounding name -- herbes de Provence -- or the person who thought to market those herbs in an adorable ceramic crock ?

(You have one of those iconic little crocks on your spice rack, don't you? Me, too.)

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August 29, 2013

Blueberry spinach smoothie recipe {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Blueberry spinach smoothie, perfect back-to-school breakfast.

My husband Ted, a.k.a. the Smoothie King, suggested we name this blueberry spinach smoothie Dark and Anti, thanks to its rich color and mega-dose of antioxidants. I love this smoothie, but think the name doesn't do it justice, so I've dubbed it Purple and Powerful. The spinach plays a supporting role, so what you have is a vibrant fruit smoothie with a bonus of dark leafy greens tucked inside, perfect for sending kids back to school with a serving of vegetables for breakfast. I tried on two different days to get a good photo of this amazing smoothie, and believe it or not, these photos are the best of the bunch. Purple and Powerful looks much better in real life than it does here. Alas, I don't seem to have the smoothie photography gene. You'll have to trust me, and taste for yourself.

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June 11, 2013

Ted's apple smoothie recipe with yogurt, honey and cardamom {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Apple smoothie with yogurt and cardamom, for breakfast or afternoon snack.

My husband Ted has a thing for smoothies, and it turns out that he's a darned good smoothie maker. In general, Ted's an out-of-the-box thinker, and he's that kind of cook, too. He starts by reading some recipes to get a sense of proportions, then he puts together his own combinations, sometimes weird and often wonderful. There's nothing wacky in this apple smoothie. It's cool and refreshing for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Use your favorite apple, and leave the skin on for a bit of extra oomph. And don't be put off by the color, which I admit looks a bit like medicine; the taste is pure apple.

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May 14, 2013

Tomato sauce (Recipe: one-one-one spaghetti sauce) {gluten-free}

First published in February 2008, this updated pantry ingredient post features new photos, links, and an important change to the recipe. I've been making a version of this sauce since my college days. Recently, I began adding one more "one" ingredient to make it even better, and eliminating one ingredient: the olive oil, which really isn't needed at all.

Spaghetti sauce made with one of everything, on The Perfect Pantry.

On the list of things without which my pantry feels incomplete, tomato sauce is somewhere in the middle.

I always have it, I always need it, I always use it. And yet, I'm not entirely sure what it is, and how it differs from the other canned, tubed, bottled, and boxed tomato products I always have, need, and use.

Right about now, you're probably adding up the number of tomato variations in your own pantry. Tomato paste? Chopped or diced tomatoes? Canned whole tomatoes? Maybe a jar or two of "emergency" prepared marinara sauce? Slow-roasted tomatoes in the freezer?

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • 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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