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 25, 2013

Zucchini pie recipe {vegetarian}

Zucchini pie, picnic and potluck perfect!

While testing zucchini recipes for my new e-book, 23 Zucchini: Fast, fun, easy recipes from The Perfect Pantry® kitchen, I tried some dishes that, although successful, didn't make the final cut, often because they were similar to other recipes in the book. My friend Ann first suggested I include a zucchini pie, and I read through many recipes before I stepped into the kitchen. I decided to make a pie that would hold up well for picnics and potlucks -- something a bit more sturdy than a traditional frittata or egg casserole -- and this version passes the test. It's important to squeeze as much water as you can out of the shredded zucchini before adding it to the egg batter (this short video I made for 23 Zucchini shows you an easy way to do it). If you don't, you'll end up with something more like pudding than pie. You can make this up to a day or two ahead.

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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 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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May 30, 2013

Recipe for egg and cheese casserole with artichoke hearts and feta {vegetarian}

A box of frozen artichoke hearts inspired this egg and cheese casserole.

While I was cruising the aisles at the market the other day, a box of frozen artichoke hearts jumped out of the freezer case into my shopping cart. (I'm amazed at how often that happens to me. Does it happen to you, too?) As is often the case, I didn't have a plan for them, but I had beautiful farm eggs and a chunk of feta waiting to be called to action, and the idea for this egg and cheese casserole came together in an instant. I'm a huge fan of protein-based breakfasts, and almost forgot to snap some photographs before I nibbled away too much of this dish. The salty feta doesn't overwhelm; rather, it balances the creamy, mild artichokes. The casserole (call it a crustless quiche, if you prefer) would be equally good for a vegetarian lunch or light supper main course. Using plain artichoke hearts -- not the marinated ones -- and steaming the vegetables in the microwave keeps the casserole lower in fat, without sacrificing any flavor.

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About 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.

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