AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Cooking from the Larder and Garden DATE: 7/11/2008 12:20:00 PM ----- BODY:
Perhaps it’s a combination of rising food prices, my concern about the impact of wasted food on the environment (both up and down stream) or my general laziness to do anything in the heat of summer. In the past 24 hours I needed to cook 2 meals – dinner for myself and breakfast with a friend – and I decided to cook with what I have in the house.

What I have in the house is limited. Further complicating matter is that I like to have vegetables at every meal, but I don’t typically keep them on hand. My schedule is varied enough that I only buy things that will keep for at least a week or two. Fresh vegetables, which decline rapidly, I buy on an “as-needed” basis. The garden is still in the early summer lull – the spring crops are over, the summer crops haven’t yet ripened.

I piecemeal together the vegetables:

The larder is pretty well stocked: eggs, milk, pastry crust, bacon, cheese, bread, black beans. And I have some left-over grilled vegetables – ¼ of a zucchini (from the farmers market) and ¼ of a bell pepper.

For the first meal, my dinner, the solution is obvious and easy: I pureed the canned tomatoes, warmed them and served it as soup with a grilled cheese sandwich. I garnished with some squash blossoms and fresh basil.

For the breakfast, quiche seemed like a great option because I have crusts in the freezer (left over from the strawberry-rhubarb pies. I could make a variation on an Alsatian Quiche with onions, bacon and cheddar (instead of gruyere). Instead, I opt for “summer vegetable.” I like that I can use up some leftover grilled vegetables, another can of tomatoes (I have about 8 pints left from last summer that I need to use before this year’s canning adventure begins) and the basil and scallions from the garden. The onions and bacon will keep for another meal.

Summer Vegetable Quiche

Pie Crust
1 ½ cups milk or half-n-half
½ cup pureed tomatoes
3 eggs
1 cup left-over summer vegetables: zucchini, red peppers, snap peas, celery etc.
½ cup cheddar cheese grated
Fresh basil, chopped
Fresh scallions, chopped
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

  1. Combine milk and tomato puree in a sauce pot. Heat over medium flame until small bubble form on the edges.
  2. While milk is heating, whisk eggs. Slowly drizzle milk into egg mixture until combine. Season with salt and pepper
  3. Line pie pan with pie dough. Sprinkle vegetables, cheese and herbs on top. Pour egg mixture over the vegetables until the pie shell is full
  4. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until quiche is set.

Labels: , ,

----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:7/12/2008 07:28:00 AM As the beneficiary of that breakfast quiche, I can attest to its deliciousness! Thanks so much for quiche and for the tour of your garden. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous TopVeg DATE:7/13/2008 05:08:00 AM The quiche looks fantastic. Having just returned fro a visit to Northern Ireland I know what scallions are! We call them spring onions!
TopVeg ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:7/13/2008 12:38:00 PM Lydia, I'm glad you liked it and lovely to have you visit. You'll have to visit again when more vegetables are ready for harvest.

topveg, I was just at a party with a couple -- the husband from Ireland, the wife from England -- and they mused about the confusion caused by the different names. Oddly, my "spring" onions are really summer. ----- --------