Late Tomatoes

Late tomatoes never match midsummer fruit, but I treasure them as the season’s final flush. Get tomato recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Tomatoes are the last true summer crop that I grab from the garden. The shift comes as swiftly as the fall back to standard time: one deep temperature swing makes every green fruit still on the vine inedible. Each fall, I follow weather forecasts, gamble on their accuracy, and try to pluck every fully formed tomato before the first killing frost.

Even if I succeed, the reward isn’t the perfectly red, juicy treats I’ve been feasting on all summer. It’s boxes of hard, underripe tomatoes. Some I’ll eat or preserve while green, but most sit for weeks beside my desk, where I watch them gradually ripen.

These tomatoes never match the bright, sweet bite of sun-kissed midsummer fruit, but I treasure them as the season’s final flush. Rather than eating them out of hand, I’ve found that letting them cook slowly, like in this savory pie, maximizes their maturing flavor.
Learn to make Late-Season Tomato Pie and Herb and Cheese Pie Crust

Flavorful Reductions

Cooking a quick sauce or glaze in the same pan as your main ingredient soaks up concentrated flavor. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
As I wrap up my month of cookware testing, I’ve been stretching the limits of nonstick pans by using some of my favorite flavor-building techniques: browning, reducing, and glazing. Stainless steel and cast iron are the more typical materials for these techniques, because some of the point is to suck up the caramelized bits that stick to the pan—those bits that nonstick surfaces are designed to eliminate. But there’s a difference between burned-on food and fond, the caramelized particles left after browning. Even a good nonstick pan generates some of these intensely flavored bits.

It made sense to me to test these techniques in nonstick pans, since I never create them using the standard base ingredient: browned meat. By cooking a quick sauce or glaze in the same pan as your main ingredient, you can soak up that concentrated flavor—whether you started with meat, shrimp, mushrooms, or root vegetables. It really is all about the flavor.
Learn to make flavorful reductions and Mushroom Pan Sauce

Cooking Grains

Most grains want a fun, flavorful addition, whether it’s stirred in or piled on top. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Eggs may be the ideal test food for skillets, but grains put saucepans through their paces. Starchy foods like rice, oats, pearly barley, and pasta always tend to get sticky, but everything from type of pot to temperature to water-to-grain ratio can also make them stick or even burn onto the cooking pot. This can leave you not just with a gummy meal but also with a gummy mess to clean up.

So as I’m testing cookware this month, I’m cooking lots of grains. All of them want a fun, flavorful addition, whether it’s stirred in or piled on top, like this week’s new recipe.
Learn about cooking grains and Curried Sweet Potato and Mango

Quiche

Quiche is a bit more work than frittata, but it has its upsides too. Get quiche and frittata recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
When I prepared to share this recipe, I was surprised to realize it would be my first quiche on the blog. It’s one of my favorite springtime dinners: the hens are back to a full laying schedule no matter how cold it was over winter, spring greens and herbs are ripe for the picking, and asparagus is growing by inches every day.

Quiche is a bit more work than frittata, because you have to make and roll out a crust. It also takes longer to cook, because you’re letting the eggs slowly set up in the oven. But it has its upsides too. Because the eggs cook slowly, they come out more like custard, whereas frittata has a tendency to set up more like hard-scrambled eggs and can burn on the bottom of you aren’t careful. The pastry helps to hold everything in place, which can make it easier to enjoy leftovers for a quick breakfast or pack them for lunch. And then there’s the pastry itself: if you’re making one crust, it’s the perfect excuse to double the recipe and bake a crumble-top pie. If you can’t justify a whole pie to yourself, the trimmed edges of the quiche crust can be rerolled into one of my favorite childhood snacks.
Learn to make Spring Vegetable Quiche and a bonus snack