Favorite eggplant recipes from The Perfect Pantry {vegetarian, gluten-free}

My husband Ted doesn't adore eggplant, so it's not often that I manage to incorporate it into dishes we both enjoy. At this time of year, when we're eating as much corn and tomatoes as we can -- and as much zucchini as we can stand -- it's easy to forget about eggplant, which is also at its peak right now. To make sure you don't pass over eggplant at the farm stand, here are a few of my favorite eggplant recipes, perfect for summer ....more

Seafood stew with tomatoes, peppers, fennel and leeks {gluten-free}

My friend Beverly, a lifelong Rhode Islander, moved to Denver a couple of weeks ago, leaving behind The Ocean State and its glorious and abundant seafood. For our last dinner on my back porch, I made this seafood stew, filled with all of the good things that come from our coastal waters. The key to the stew is the light broth, which will happily accept almost any type of shellfish or non-oily fish ....more

The Pantry Quiz #100

Do You Know? Of all the ingredients in The Perfect Pantry, water is the most versatile. After all, without water, grains wouldn't grow, sauces wouldn't flow, and seeds wouldn't sprout ....more

Dill pickled green beans {vegan, gluten-free}

To be honest, I'm not one of those people who believes that pickling makes all foods taste better. Pickled cauliflower is still cauliflower, and you know how I feel about that. Pickled beets, pickled eggs, pickled carrots: not my thing ....more

Roasted ratatouille with fresh basil and balsamic vinaigrette {vegan, gluten-free}

When eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes all show up at the farm stand at exactly the same time, my cooking brain goes right to ratatouille (rat-a-too-eee), the Provencal vegetable stew that fills omelets, tops rice, and snuggles up to grilled fish or chicken. I've made pots and pots of ratatouille in my day, some in the slow cooker, some with chicken, and while I love it, I'm not always in the mood for something stew-ish. I decided to try a different method; I diced and roasted a variety of summer squash I found in the kitchen -- a green zucchini, a yellow crookneck squash, and a pattypan -- with an onion, bell pepper, and eggplant ....more

The Pantry Quiz #99

Multiple Choice Several years ago my friend Kalyn introduced me to Spike Seasoning, a versatile spice blend invented by Gayelord Hauser, a German-born naturopath, nutritionist to the stars, and perhaps more-than-a-friend of Greta Garbo. How many spices are there in the original formula for Spike Seasoning? A. 9B ....more

Hawaiian sweet potato salad {vegetarian, gluten-free}

A longtime reader who I met when his wife took a cooking class from me, Ken retired to Hawaii several years ago. Recently he wrote to say he thought we needed some Hawaiian recipes in the American Regional Recipes section of The Perfect Pantry, and to help me get started, he sent several locally-published cookbooks. Hawaiian cuisine is really a crossroads of all of the cultures who've settled on the islands: Asian, Polynesian, native Hawaiian, and many former military folks from all around the United States ....more

Whole wheat pasta turkey salad with vegetables and feta-herb-yogurt dressing

At this point in my life, I know that I will never be tall, model-thin, or able to balance on high heels. I'll never be a physicist or concert pianist, a race car driver or sky diver. And I will never be vegan ....more

The Pantry Quiz #98

Multiple Choice We're a bit addicted to Greek salads, and we're making lots of them this summer with crisp vegetables, olives, and small bits of feta cheese. Feta is an aged cheese, like Cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Gouda. How long does feta need to age before it's firm and packed for sale in your local market? A ....more

White beans with shrimp, basil, and slow-roasted tomatoes {gluten-free}

A well-stocked pantry + an herb garden + zero motivation to leave the house on a hot and sticky day = this magical bowl of garlicky white beans with shrimp and basil. Every couple of weeks, I cook a large batch of beans in my pressure cooker, so I've always got some on hand (you can use canned beans for this recipe, too). There's shrimp in the freezer, basil in the garden, and slow-roasted tomatoes packed in baggies, ready to go ....more