Tomato // Tag

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22 Sep

Everybody loves meatballs! Take a ho-hum dinner, add meatballs, and presto! It’s a meal fit for king, or at least a king’s family.

These pork and beef meatballs have a surprise morsel of mozzarella cheese in the center.

HOW TO MAKE STUFFED MEATBALLS

You can whip these meatballs up in as little as 20 minutes. Form the balls, poke a hole in each one with your finger, stuff with a piece of cheese, and re-form the meatball around it.

Then into a pan they go to bake in the oven. While the meatballs bake, make a quick tomato sauce on the stovetop. Combine the sauce and meatballs, sprinkle the entire dish with cheese, and bake together until everything is bubbly, cheesy, and slightly melted.

Spoon the meatballs into a bowl with sauce, serve over pasta, or layer them onto a sub for a delectable meatball sandwich. Yum!

Pork and beef meatball recipe - blue and white bowl with meatballs and saucePork and beef meatball recipe - blue and white bowl with meatballs and sauce

WHAT KIND OF MOZZARELLA SHOULD I USE?

Either fresh mozzarella or low-moisture mozzarella (cut from a block of cheese or sticks) will work fine in this recipe, depending on what you can find in your market. The low-moisture cheese tends to be a bit oozier when it melts, but I’ve made these with both kinds of cheese.

10-MINUTE TOMATO SAUCE? YES, PLEASE!

This is my go-to sauce. With just tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt, and basil, it is ridiculously easy to make.

Every time I see someone reach for bottled tomato sauce in the market, I want to tap her on the shoulder, “Honey, stop! Don’t do it! Buy that can of tomatoes, and make your sauce in 10 minutes! Here, I’ll give you the recipe.” Naturally, I refrain from that kind of behavior.

That can is filled with the San Marzano variety of tomatoes, packed in thick tomato sauce. That can of tomatoes is the secret to the freshest, easiest tomato sauce known to woman or man. It’s a few pennies more than the store’s own brand, but it’s lot of pennies less than a prepared sauce.

Canned tomatoes should be soft and pliant, swimming in thick sauce and easily squished with your hand. If you are buying tomatoes in watery juice that are hard where the stem was removed, make a note and try another brand next time. (Rant over.)

Cheese Stuffed Meatballs - meatballs covered with sauce and cheese in skilletCheese Stuffed Meatballs - meatballs covered with sauce and cheese in skillet

Cheese Stuffed Meatballs - meatballs covered with sauce and cheese in skilletCheese Stuffed Meatballs - meatballs covered with sauce and cheese in skillet

MAKE-AHEAD MEATBALLS

To freeze raw meatballs: Spread them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and once they are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. Let them defrost in the refrigerator and bake as directed in the recipe. They will keep in the freezer for two to three months.

To freeze cooked meatballs: Spread them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and once they are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. Reheat them from frozen slowly on the stovetop or in the oven, in the sauce.

You can also defrost them in the fridge overnight, and then heat them on top of the stove. They will keep in the freezer for two to three months.

To freeze cooked meatballs in sauce: Place them in a freezer container and freeze. Reheat them slowly on top of the stove, or defrost them in the fridge, and then heat them on the stovetop or in the oven, in the sauce. They will keep in the freezer for two to three months.

WHO DOESN’T LOVE MEATBALLS?! THE MORE THE MERRIER!

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19 Sep

Let’s talk about tomato sauce. Last week in an airplane miles above the expansive plains of the mid-west, in the midst of a flurry of turbulence, it dawned on me that I’ve never shared with you my all-time favorite tomato sauce recipe. I’ve included the recipe in one form or another in both of my books, but I’ve never gone into depth here on the website about why it is the little black dress of my cooking repertoire.

Five Minute Tomato Sauce RecipeFive Minute Tomato Sauce Recipe

How to Make a Simple and Bright Tomato Sauce

I realize many of you have romantic notions of what a good tomato sauce should be. And I realize it is going to be a tough sell on my part to get you to make a break with some of those hearty, meaty, long-simmering sauces. But, I’m going to encourage you to give this ringer of a tomato sauce recipe a shot. It comes together in five minutes flat, and the only chopping required is a few garlic cloves. It is bright and clean, a vibrant red in color, and exudes the essence of tomatoes, in part because there isn’t much to get in the way of the tomato flavor.

Video: How to Make Five Minute Tomato Sauce

 

A Short Ingredient List

Many of the tomato sauce recipes in this realm (in the U.S. in particular) include all sorts of ingredients. One camp likes to kick things off by browning onions and ground beef for a chunky stew-like sauce, others love to use carrots and celery and all manner of dusty dried herbs and seasonings. This recipe is going to be on the absolute other end of the spectrum – in all the best ways.

You wouldn’t wear a wool coat to the beach, right? That’s what heavy spaghetti and tomato sauces in warm weather feel like to me. This sauce is a relatively pure expression of tomatoes accented with a bit of edge from crushed red peppers, a hint of garlic, and my secret ingredient – a touch of lemon zest which brings its citrus aroma and a bit of surprise to the party.

Five Minute Tomato Sauce Recipe

Five Minute Tomato Sauce RecipeFive Minute Tomato Sauce Recipe

So Many Different Uses!

The first time you make this sauce I recommend spooning it over light, fluffy pillows of ricotta-filled ravioli. Beyond that there are many other avenues to explore. It is transcendent in all manner of baked pastas and pasta-based casseroles (don’t skimp on the zest). Toss it with good-quality spaghetti noodles, a sprinkle of freshly chopped basil, and a dusting of Parmesan – you’ve got a beautiful bowl of noodles.

Beyond the pasta realm, I use it on thin-crust pizzas, in my thousand-layer lasagna, as the foundation for stuffed shells, as a base for soups, and as a way to pull together various “grain-bowls”. For example, quinoa tossed with a bit of this tomato sauce, your protein of choice, and accents like basil and a bit of cheese is simple and satisfying. 

Five Minute Tomato Sauce Recipe

Five Minute Tomato Sauce RecipeFive Minute Tomato Sauce Recipe

Pictured above on my favorite pizza dough, with some mozzarella, and fresh basil. Be sure to to pay attention to the type of crushed tomatoes to buy in the recipe headnotes. I hope you love this sauce as much as I do, and appreciate it for what it is more so than what it isn’t.

Variations

A bit richer. There are times when I’ll add a splash of cream at the very end, totally changing the character of the sauce – it becomes silky with a bit of richness, while still being bright, and without compromising the tomatoes in the lead role.

Sarah noted in the comments below, “Mmm, I love a nice quick San Marzano tomato sauce — mine’s very similar, though I also toss in a few capers or maybe some black olive paste if I have them on hand.” Love this take.


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18 Sep

We are entering what I consider peak bloody mary season. I love making them just as summer winds down, using heirloom tomatoes (after the initial thrill of tomato season wears off). Here you have a vibrant, bold, bloody mary made with fragrant herbs, yellow heirloom tomatoes, shallots, and a bit of kick from the vodka and serrano pepper. It’s the bloody mary I want to drink, and I suspect you’ll love it too!

Yellow Tomato Bloody MaryYellow Tomato Bloody Mary


Yellow Tomato Bloody Mary

Yellow Tomato Bloody MaryYellow Tomato Bloody Mary

Yellow Tomato Bloody Mary

Yellow Tomato Bloody MaryYellow Tomato Bloody Mary

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08 Sep

I’ve thrown together a lot of tomato salads in my life. And certainly not all need to be highlighted here…That said, I made one over the weekend that is a bit offbeat, in a good way -a seasonal salad worth sharing. I think the magic happened when I decided to roast half of the tomatoes. The salad became a mix of beautiful heirlooms in shades of greens, reds, yellows, and orange, tossed with their roasted, caramelized counterparts. The roasted tomatoes brought depth to the salad – well worth the bit of extra time and effort.

Heirloom Tomato SaladHeirloom Tomato Salad

Building on the tomatoes

Beyond the tomato base (use your best & make sure they’re ripe), I found myself pulling from ingredients around the kitchen. Capers, quickly pan-fried, added a mustardy pop. Crunch came from toasted almonds, and creamy fresh mozzarella delivered just the right amount of decadence. Fresh herbs added a bright finishing accent.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Heirloom Tomato SaladHeirloom Tomato SaladHeirloom Tomato SaladHeirloom Tomato SaladHeirloom Tomato Salad

Tomato Salad Variations

Don’t let my version influence you too much. Play around! You can take the basic premise (a tomato salad made with a mix of ripe and roasted in-season tomatoes) in unlimited different directions. Try different nuts, herbs, and vinaigrettes. A version using this pesto is A+. Experiment with different tomato varietals and shapes. 

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Heirloom Tomato SaladHeirloom Tomato Salad
It’s easy to prep nearly everything ahead of time here, and I have to tell you, this salad served on slabs of garlic-rubbed bread? Or partnered with oven-baked falafel tucked into warm pita bread? Best lunch I had all week.

 


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01 Sep

This Classic Tomato Soup is rich with a velvety texture. It’s easy to make with canned tomatoes, and perfectly suited for all of your grilled cheese dipping needs. Better than a can of Campbell’s and just about as easy!

Photography Credit:
Alison Bickle

Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches are best when the air turns crisp; the mornings are damp, and the days are short. The soup’s simplicity only accentuates its role as a tincture on a cold fall evening. Its velvety texture is a robe of warmth.

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE TOMATO SOUP

Whether you’ve canned your own tomatoes or bought them at the store, this soup comes together in about 20 minutes using pantry staples—canned tomatoes and tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and of course, butter.

Dice an onion; add a little garlic, and let it simmer! I use an immersion blender to puree it, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry. You can use a countertop blender, or don’t bother blending it at all.

This recipe is as easy as dumping soup from a can, but makes more servings and tastes much better.

WAYS TO ADAPT THIS SOUP

  1. To make creamy tomato soup, just add heavy cream.
  2. If you want it creamy but without the cream, puree some canned cannellini beans and add them in (like we do in this recipe for Creamy Tomato and White Bean Soup).
  3. Simmer the soup with a couple sprigs of thyme.
  4. Stir in sliced fresh basil just before serving.
  5. Want to be dairy-free? Replace the butter with olive oil.
  6. Add some cooked cheese tortellini.
  7. Want more texture? Don’t bother blending.

Tomato Soup Recipe - bowls of tomato soup on table with breadTomato Soup Recipe - bowls of tomato soup on table with breadTomato Soup Recipe - bowls of tomato soup on table with breadTomato Soup Recipe - bowls of tomato soup on table with bread

WHAT TO SERVE WITH TOMATO SOUP?

Tomato soup is to grilled cheese what peanut butter is to jelly, but you don’t have to stop there.

  1. Make homemade croutons.
  2. You can always go the oyster cracker route.
  3. A simple Caesar salad would do the trick.
  4. My grandmother used to make tomato soup and serve it to me with cottage cheese and dried minced onions. I eat it this way to this day.
  5. Add cheese tortellini to the soup to make it more of a meal.
  6. Serve it with a white fish such as cod or tilapia.

CAN YOU FREEZE TOMATO SOUP?

Absolutely! Tomato soup is the perfect recipe to make ahead and save for a busy weeknight meal down the road. You could also give it to friend who is recovering from an illness, just had a baby, or is feeling a little overwhelmed and could use a home cooked meal! Make a double batch, freeze half, and have it ready when you (or someone you love) needs it!

Keep it in any freezer-safe container. Make sure you leave enough space (about an inch) for the soup to expand as it freezes. It should keep for up to six months.

NEED MORE SOUP?

Tomato Soup Recipe

This soup uses flour to help thicken it a bit. If you are gluten-free, skip the flour, and instead mix together 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of cold water. Stir it into the soup when you bring it to a boil, and let it simmer.

Ingredients

Method

1 Sauté the onions and garlic: In a Dutch oven set over medium heat, add the butter. Once it starts to foam, add the onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir until both have softened and are fragrant, about 7 minutes.

Copy Cat Campbell’s Tomato Soup - flour and fat in the bottom of a soup potCopy Cat Campbell’s Tomato Soup - flour and fat in the bottom of a soup pot

2 Make the roux: Add flour. Stir to make a paste. Continue stirring until the flour has taken on a light brown color. Stir and scrape with wooden spoon, 5-7 minutes. The onion paste should look golden with a little brown caramelization.

How to Make Tomato Soup - flour and fat in the bottom of a soup pot wtih onionsHow to Make Tomato Soup - flour and fat in the bottom of a soup pot wtih onions

3 Add tomatoes and stock: Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken stock, and sugar. Stir to combine. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat to medium and let simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes.

4 Purée and serve: Purée the soup with an immersion blender. Alternatively, fill a countertop blender less than halfway with the hot soup. Remove the center lid insert. This allows the hot steam to escape. Cover the hole with a folded kitchen towel and place your hand over the top. Blend. Repeat as necessary until all of the soup has been puréed.

Ladle into bowls, topped with freshly cracked pepper, slivered basil, and of course, grilled cheese sandwiches.

Homemade Tomato Soup - tomato soup in a dutch oven with an immersion blenderHomemade Tomato Soup - tomato soup in a dutch oven with an immersion blender

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16 Aug

Making supper these days is all about quick, easy, but still mind-blowingly delicious meals. We all have busy lives and between rushing to a gym class after work, working on your side hustle and meeting friends for drinks, there isn’t much time left for a long and involved dinner plan. That’s where this tomato pasta recipe will come in handy.

This tomato pasta recipe couldn’t be easier – it’s virtually impossible to mess up. You can use your favourite pasta and add chilli and garlic to suit your tastebuds. If you’re feeling extra indulgent, you could add a piece of olive-oil-grilled bread or a sprinkling of your favourite cheese. You can also scale the recipe up or down to suit the number of people eating – one serving is basically two cloves of garlic to half an onion to one chilli to one tin of whole tomatoes.

The sauce is also super versatile: use it as your tomato base for pizzas, as a dunking sauce for arancini or as a spread for your extra-special sarmie.


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11 Aug

It has finally happened. I’ve not only tried multiple recipes to get the best one, but I’ve completely fallen for Southern Tomato Basil Pie.

 

a slice of southern tomato pie on a blue china platea slice of southern tomato pie on a blue china plate

 

Years and years ago our two friends, Dave and Sarah told us a crazy story about a tomato pie and a trip to Hawaii. I’m going to spare you every detail, but I do want to tell you that our one conversation about Southern Tomato Pie sparked an interest in me that has been going on for years and years.

On the one hand, the way that Dave and Sarah talked about Southern Tomato Pie made me want to try some asap. And I mean, like who has it because I need some RIGHT. NOW. But on the other hand, a pie crust filled with mayonnaise and tomatoes sounded awful. I don’t mean to ruin it for you before you ever try it, but it does sound weird, right?

IT’S NOT.

You just need to trust me on this, because until you’ve had tomato pie you do not know the goodness yet.

Actually, try thinking about Margarita pizza. Do you just love that pizza? I know that margarita pizza is not a mayonnaise based dish, but I promise that the flavors are more similar than you could ever realize. It’s those fresh tomatoes, cheese, basil and that flaky crust. My goodness, it’s so good!

 

a slice of southern tomato pie on a blue china plate

a slice of southern tomato pie on a blue china platea slice of southern tomato pie on a blue china plate

 

What is Southern Tomato Pie?

I’ve gotten a bit distracted in telling you how good tomato pie is that I actually haven’t taken the time to explain what is Southern Tomato Pie.

Tomato pie is a savory pie that is filled with tomatoes and cheese and a good sprinkling of fresh basil. It’s a dish that can count for brunch, an appetizer, side dish or we even will eat it as a main dish with a side of fruit.

 

How to Make Easy Southern Tomato Pie

 

Tomato pie is a basic pie crust that is blind baked with a light sprinkling of cheese on the bottom. The cheese is not only good, but it actually helps to create an additional layer between the mayo and tomatoes so the  crust does not get soggy.

Next, you’ll layer tomatoes, a mayonnaise and cheese mixture and fresh basil, repeating layers until you get to the top of the pie. At this point, sprinkle a healthy dose of cheese on top and leave the fresh basil for once you’ve pulled the pie out of the oven.

The mayonnaise and cheese mixture becomes one and tastes like a delicious cheese sauce in the pie. It does NOT taste like mayonnaise.

How to Make Tomato Pie Not Soggy

There are a few things that you can do to ensure that you make a tomato pie not soggy.

  1. Slice the tomatoes and place them on a paper towel with a sprinkling of salt. Salt draws liquid out of veggies, and then the liquid is absorbed by the tomatoes.
  2. Blind bake your pie crust to crisp everything before wet ingredients are piled into it. When you blind bake for a tomato pie make sure that you are docking, or in other words, pricking the entire bottom of the pie crust.
  3. If your tomatoes look especially juicy, brush the pie crust with an egg white before baking. This will seal the pie crust.

 

a slice of southern tomato pie on a blue china plate

a slice of southern tomato pie on a blue china platea slice of southern tomato pie on a blue china plate

Can You Make Tomato Pie Ahead of Time?

 

Tomato pie is one of my favorite recipes to make up to 1 whole day ahead of time. Just be sure that you save the pie in the refrigerator and then you can serve it cold, or reheat it.

You can also prep the pie to be made by baking the pie crust, cooling it and then setting it aside with plastic wrap until you’re ready to bake it.

The tomatoes should not be sliced until you’re ready.

The cheese can be grated and stored in a sealable bag, but we prefer to chop the basil right before using as it will wilt.

 

 

How to Serve Tomato Pie

Tomato pie can be served a few different ways. I like my tomato pie to be served room temperature. Because there is mayonnaise and cheese in it you don’t want to leave it out for hours, but you can certainly leave it to cool a bit or stick it in the fridge until the temperature is more like barely warm.

Many people like to eat their tomato pie warm, so just waiting a few minutes after baking it is best for them.

Finally, tomato pie, especially when served as an appetizer or brunch can be served cold.

 

a slice of southern tomato pie on a blue china plate

a slice of southern tomato pie on a blue china platea slice of southern tomato pie on a blue china plate

 

How Long Will Tomato Pie Keep?

  • How to Store Tomato Pie- Tomato Pie is to be stored with plastic wrap or foil wrapped over the pie. It creates quite the mess to attempt to remove slices and store them in containers.
  • How Long Can Tomato Pie Sit Out- Tomato pie is great at room temperature. If the entire pie isn’t consumed you should store the leftovers in the fridge overnight.
  • How Long Can You Store Tomato Pie? – Tomato pie can be stored for up to 2 days in the refrigerator or frozen.

 

Can Tomato Pie be Frozen?

You actually can freeze tomato pie. There will be some more liquid once you’re reheating. Because it’s mayonnaise and not a cream base it holds up pretty darn well.

Once the pie is cooked and cooled, just place it on a cookie sheet. Next, flash freeze for 20 minutes. Once that is done, wrap in saran wrap. Keep in a container in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.

 

How to Reheat Tomato Pie

When you want to eat one of the pies that was frozen, unwrap and microwave on high for one minute. If it is just a pie from the refrigerator, do 30 seconds.

 

Southern RECIPES

Looking for more Southern recipes? Instant Pot Southern Macaroni and Cheese, Southern Macaroni and CheeseCheesy Southern Grits,  Southern Fried Chicken or Southern Pimento Cheeseburger!

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Southern Tomato Basil Pie

It has finally happened. I’ve not only tried multiple recipes to get the best one, but I’ve completely fallen for Southern Tomato Basil Pie.

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time45 mins

Total Time55 mins

Course: Over 500 Family Dinner Recipes Ideas

Keyword: basil, pie, tomatoes

Servings: 10 servings

Calories: 250

Author: Sweet Basil

Pie Crust

  • 1 1/3 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter cold and cubed
  • 6 Tablespoons Shortening cold
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Ice Water
  • 1 Cup  Mozzarella Cheese divided
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2  Cup  Cheddar Cheese divided
  • Large Tomatoes

Filling

  • Teaspoon  Salt
  • 3/4  Teaspoon  Garlic Powder
  • 1/2  Teaspoon  Oregano
  • 1/3  Cup  Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1/4  Cup  Mayonnaise

Pie Crust

  • Prepare the pie crust by mixing the flour and salt in a bowl.

  • Add the cold butter and shortening and using a pastry cutter (trust me, it’s worth the couple of bucks) cut the fats into the flour mixture until it resembles small peas.
  • Using a tablespoon, add a little water to the flour mixture at a time, using a fork to stir everything together until the dough just comes together. It should not be smooth and soft like cookie dough, but instead a little more flaky until you squeeze it together.

  • Place the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap, shaping it into a ball.

  • Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a circle.

  • Place in a pie dish and trim any overhanging dough leaving a good inch around the lip. Crimp this dough and prick the bottom and sides of the pie crust.

  • Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup mozzarella and place in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes.

  • Remove from the oven to cool while you prepare the filling.

For the Filling

  • Slice the tomatoes thin and place on a double layer of paper towels

  • Lightly salt tomato slices and leave them for 10 minutes. The salt will pull out excess water which the paper towels will sop up so you don’t have a wet pie.

  • Combine 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese in a small bowl. Set aside.

  • Sprinkle tomato slices with the garlic powder, oregano and black pepper to taste. Layer 1/3 of the tomato slices, 1/3 of the cheese mixture and 1/3 of the basil. Repeat layers.

  • In a small bowl combine remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup mayonnaise. Dot over the final layer of tomatoes.

  • Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes. Cool before serving.

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 18.7g | Protein: 9.8g | Cholesterol: 21.8mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 4.1g

a slice of southern tomato pie on a blue china plate

a slice of southern tomato pie on a blue china platea slice of southern tomato pie on a blue china plate

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05 Aug

One thing we gardeners can count on in the peak of summer is a surplus of zucchini and tomatoes, right? That basil plant in the corner of the garden bed is pretty happy, too.

If you are looking for ideas about what to make with the most summery of summer produce, check out this zucchini tomato quiche!

Ingredients for this quiche

It’s simple enough as quiches go—shallots, shredded zucchini, an assortment of colorful cherry tomatoes, basil, and herbs with a custard base of eggs, milk, cream, sour cream, and Parmesan.

Tomatoes, basil, and zucchini play well together as a matter of principle, and they work beautifully in this quiche. Every bite is a taste of summer.

Zucchini and tomato quicheZucchini and tomato quiche

Blind Baking the Crust

To make the quiche the first thing I do is blind baking (pre-baking) a homemade pie crust. Blind baking browns the crust all over—bottom, sides, and top, and helps prevent the crust from getting soggy from the quiche filling.

The best crust for quiche

It helps to have a crust all ready to go. For this recipe I’m using my favorite all-butter crust with a ratio of 1 stick of butter to 1 1/4 cups of flour.

You can use crusts with a higher fat ratio (like this no-fail sour cream pie crust) but with more fat in the crust you risk get more slumping when you pre-bake. (It can be done, just form the sides higher and use these blind baking instructions with sugar for pie weights.)

Can’t be bothered with a homemade crust? I understand. See my review of the Best and Worst store-bought crusts.

I’ve tested this recipe with the best of that bunch, the Wholly Wholesome Organic Traditional 9-inch pie shell, and it worked fine. The package instructed not to pre-bake if making a quiche, so I didn’t. But you could if you wanted to, if you want the bottom of the crust to get browned.

If you’re using any other store-bought crust, you can defrost it and skip the pre-baking or partially-pre-bake it using the instructions for pre-baking on the package.

Make ahead!

One of the best things about quiche is that you can make it ahead. I let the quiche cool all the way, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

Over the next few days, I can take a slice at a time, reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds, and have a delicious instant breakfast or lunch.

What about freezing quiche?

You can freeze quiche, either baked or unbaked. Here are some general guidelines, which may vary depending on your oven and how thick or thin the quiche is.

  • Fully baked: Preheat the oven to 350°F and put the frozen quiche in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until it’s fully heated through.
  • Unbaked: Place the frozen quiche in the oven and add 10 to 20 minutes to the cook time for this recipe.
  • You can also thaw a fully baked quiche in advance, overnight in the fridge, and then reheat at the same temperature for 10 to 15 minutes.

CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF QUICHE? Try These!

Updated August 5, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle and add some more information. No changes to the original recipe.

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05 Aug

This post is brought to you in partnership with California Grown.

At the peak of their season, there’s nothing better than cooking (or snacking on) fresh, California tomatoes. 

They’re delicious on their own and in need of little adornment, but we also have some tried-and-true recipes we turn to each year.

What makes California produce extra special is how devoted the farmers are to growing the ripest, most delicious fruits and veggies (those sun-drenched fields certainly help!), and offering interesting growing varieties that make our meals more colorful and flavorful everyday.

From savory tarts and unforgettable appetizers to salads and quick pizzas, there’s something here for every tomato lover!

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17 Jul

One of my favorite comfort foods is a big bowl of mussels with crusty bread. If you’ve never had mussels before, they are like clams or oysters and have a briny flavor and firm, but creamy texture. Unlike clams or oysters, however, I’ve never eaten mussels raw and prefer them in a rich sauce.

Take this tomato sauce with bacon and wine, for example. This is one of those dishes that you might only think to order in a restaurant, but it’s actually very doable in a home kitchen! Let’s dig in and make some mussels.

How to Cook Mussels in Tomato Sauce - closeup of steaming mussels in cast iron panHow to Cook Mussels in Tomato Sauce - closeup of steaming mussels in cast iron pan

HOW TO SHOP FOR MUSSELS

Fresh mussels are readily available these days, but it’s important to check for freshness. Fresh mussels should be alive; their shells should be closed, or if they are slightly open, they should close if you tap them lightly.

You can always ask your fishmonger where they came from specifically and how long ago they were harvested. The mussels should smell fresh, like the ocean, but not fishy at all.

Mussels in Spicy tomato sauce recipe - closeup of musselMussels in Spicy tomato sauce recipe - closeup of mussel

Mussels in Spicy tomato sauce recipe - closeup of musselMussels in Spicy tomato sauce recipe - closeup of mussel

HOW TO STORE AND CLEAN MUSSELS

Once you buy the mussels, you can keep them on ice in the fridge for a day or two without worry. Generally, I try to buy mussels the same day or the day before I’m planning on cooking them.

The only step you have to do to clean the mussels is to remove the “beard.” This is a tiny, almost furry piece that sticks out of the side of each mussel—it’s how they attach to rocks. It isn’t edible. (You can see it sticking out of the right-hand side of the musse in the photo above.)

Go through each mussel and just pull this off if you see it. It might not be on every single mussel, but it’s a good idea to check. Once you have removed the beards, rinse all the mussels with cold water; to get the mussels very clean, scrub them gently under cold water. Then they are ready to cook!

Mussels in Spicy tomato sauce recipe - overhead shot of spaghetti on plate with mussels on sideMussels in Spicy tomato sauce recipe - overhead shot of spaghetti on plate with mussels on side

Mussels in Spicy tomato sauce recipe - overhead shot of spaghetti on plate with mussels on sideMussels in Spicy tomato sauce recipe - overhead shot of spaghetti on plate with mussels on side

MAKING THE TOMATO SAUCE

This hearty tomato sauce has a lot going on, but to cut down on the cooking time, I’d recommend using a jarred marinara sauce rather than starting with canned tomatoes, which would require a longer simmer time to break down.

If you want to make a sauce from scratch, however, by all means go for it. Our basic tomato sauce should work great. You’re going to be adding to it, anyway!

Start the sauce with some bacon in a skillet and the fat will start to melt. Then add the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and cook for a minute.

Deglaze your pan with wine (or you can use vegetable or seafood stock) to scrape up any bits stuck to the pan and pour in the marinara. Bring the marinara mixture to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes over low heat.

Once the sauce has simmered, add all your cleaned mussels, cover the skillet, and let them steam for five minutes until they have all opened. Any mussels that haven’t opened after five minutes should be discarded.

Mussels in tomato sauce recipe - plate of spaghetti with mussels on side and forkMussels in tomato sauce recipe - plate of spaghetti with mussels on side and forkMussels in tomato sauce recipe - plate of spaghetti with mussels on side and forkMussels in tomato sauce recipe - plate of spaghetti with mussels on side and fork

WHAT TO SERVE WITH MUSSELS

There are two options for serving these mussels.

  • Appetizer! Serve the sauce and mussels as a hearty appetizer with crusty bread. Use the bread to sop up the delicious sauce and people can scoop out as many mussels as they want. YUM.
  • Dinner! Cook and drain a pound of spaghetti, and add about 3/4 cup (or more) of marinara sauce from the skillet to the spaghetti and stir to combine. Divide the spaghetti among plates and then top with more sauce and mussels. Garnish the spaghetti with fresh parsley. It’s a real treat!

MUSSELS DO NOT MAKE GOOD LEFTOVERS

Mussels, unfortunately, don’t store well once they are cooked. I would plan on eating any leftovers in a day or two by gently reheating the sauce and mussels over low heat on the stovetop with a splash of water.

I wouldn’t freeze the sauce. Cooked frozen mussels are not a thing. Their texture gets mushy and they lose their fresh flavor.

LOVE BIVALVES? HERE ARE MORE RECIPES!

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