Frittata

If you like quiche but hate to roll crust, or if you crave omelets but your homemade ones always turn into scrambled eggs, you really should be making frittata. This crustless quiche or open-face omelet is just as adaptable to the ingredients you have on hand as its more finicky cousins. You can eat it at any meal and serve it as a tapa or a main. What’s not to like?

My first memorable frittatas were made by a Spanish woman running a hostel in Greece, so in my mind a frittata must have potatoes and the best additional ingredients are homegrown tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, and basil and homemade feta. I include the potatoes in my base recipe, but you can easily drop them and highlight other ingredients—or just use whatever’s in your fridge. Before summer crops explode, I tend to fill my frittatas with baby chard or spinach and herbs.
Learn to make Basic Potato Frittata and Spinach and Herb Frittata

Yogurt Dips

Homemade cheese and yogurt are delicious not just on their own but also when featured or even a footnote in other recipes. Bring a tray of homemade dips, cheese, and sourdough bread to a potluck or party (or house concert), and guests immediately compliment your tasty contribution. Then when someone asks what’s in the dip, say, “homemade yogurt”; eyes brighten, jaws drop, and people dig back into the bowl. At least, that’s my experience.

I’ve long been a fan of tzatziki, and it’s among my favorite ways to showcase homemade yogurt. A tangy fresh batch makes the dip pop—so much so that I cut back on the lemon juice. Although traditionally made with sheep’s or goat’s milk, draining a cow’s milk yogurt until it’s thick works beautifully. Just a tablespoon or two of the same thickened yogurt gives a surprising creaminess to other dips, especially ones featuring beans.
Learn to make Tzatziki and Asian White Bean Dip

Quick Freezer Breads

When I was growing up, my mom was forever trying to find uses for my dad’s giant annual squash crop. My dad has a sweet tooth, so chocolate zucchini cake was a favorite way of putting more the zukes in our bellies. My dad is also a fan of butternut squash cooked in its skin, sliced in half, and deseeded so that its cavity could be filled with butter and brown sugar.

I didn’t inherit that sweet tooth. The cake was OK, but I detested the sugary squash and even pumpkin pie when I was growing up. It wasn’t until I left home and tried savory squash soups that I developed a taste for these vegetables. As you can see from my squash-based recipes, such as Zucchini Pancakes, these quick breads, and even Pumpkin–Chocolate Cookies, I still look for more flavor and less sugar when baking with summer or winter squash. Learn to make Zucchini Sesame Bread and Harvest Pumpkin Bread

Hummus

Hummus, to my mind, is like applesauce: store-bought versions are no substitute for the real deal. Fortunately, the two have many other similarities. Both are incredibly easy to make. Both only require a few, easily obtainable ingredients. And particularly when made at home, both are not just good eating but good to eat.

Although few people get excited about applesauce these days, hummus remains hugely popular. Anecdotally, I know this because I get more requests for made-from-scratch hummus than any other creation at Twice as Tasty catered events. Neil Irwin of the New York Times supports this view by ranking hummus among “foods that have generally had staying power.” When you combine it with homegrown veg or Sourdough Pita Chips and flavor it with roasted garlic, hummus is guaranteed to fly off the table.
Learn to roast garlic and make Roasted-Garlic Hummus