A bag of beautiful sun-dried tomatoes, a gift from my friend Mary, inspired several dishes in my kitchen recently, including this baked egg casserole with Italian cheeses and fresh herbs from my garden. Egg casseroles make ideal breakfast, brunch or light supper entrées. You can whip them up in minutes, they serve a lot of people, and they adapt to almost any flavor profile, so you can raid the pantry or use up leftover chicken, pasta or cooked vegetables. Add green chiles and cumin, for a Mexican flair, or soy sauce and scallions, to put an egg foo yung spin on this recipe. I love the classic combination of tomato with basil and thyme, both of which are still prolific in my herb garden.
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Last Saturday -- an average day, no special occasion -- I awoke with the urge to make a luxurious breakfast for my husband Ted and me. No explanation of why I felt drawn to cook on a Saturday morning (believe me, this never happens), but I recognized it right away as a splendid idea. My pantry offered the basic components for quiche: pie crust, eggs, cheese. Basil in the garden, and cooked lobster tail and roasted corn in the freezer from a recent Trader Joe's shopping trip, came together in this lobster, corn and basil quiche. Fresh lobster and corn cut off the cob would make it that much better, but it was so good that I want you to make this recipe even if you rely on frozen and pantry ingredients. You can substitute shrimp, langoustines or chunks of salmon for the lobster. Serve this quiche with a green salad and glass of white wine for lunch or supper, or make it for breakfast on an ordinary Saturday morning, and turn the day into a special occasion.
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Here I come to save the day! (Thanks, Mighty Mouse.) Yes, friends, the express train known as the zucchini glut has pulled up at farm stands everywhere, and you can never have too many recipes to help you enjoy the ride. This zucchini, goat cheese and basil frittata is just the kind of dish that saves the day in our house, a quick and easy lunch or light supper recipe that isn't at all fussy. Make it in the morning and refrigerate for later in the day (or for the following day), or spend 15 minutes and cook right before you're ready to eat. Frittatas have only a few ingredients, so make sure you use the best cheeses, eggs and herbs you can find. Lucky for me, I had just enough of my friend Christine's goat cheese left after making an arugula, berries and goat cheese salad, and the two dishes came together in a perfect summer supper.
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Trust me on this: you must have a basic quiche recipe in your repertoire, and always, always, always a package of store-bought pie crust in the refrigerator. You'll be amazed at the magic you can work with eggs, cheese and a bit of dough, plus whatever else you find in the pantry, especially when guests drop in, as they tend to do in summer. Think of this as your all-purpose quiche formula: change the cheese, swap out the veggies, use different herbs and seasonings. You can't go wrong. I love meatless variations, but if you have some rotisserie chicken or smoked salmon or cooked sausage, toss them into the mix. For a light summer lunch or supper, all you need is a wedge of quiche and a green salad, along with a glass of cold white wine. Enjoy the leftovers, if there are any, for breakfast.
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