Making a quiche is extremely easy. It is a custard baked in a pie shell with whatever ingredients you want to include. In this case, colorful vegetables make a delightful accent. Other choices are mushrooms, carrots, green onions and leeks.
1 9-inch deep-dish pie crust (homemade, frozen or refrigerated)
MARKET MANIA: Great dishes with regional ingredients2 cups total thin slices red and green bell pepper, yellow squash
and zucchini in equal parts, cut into matchsticks
1 tablespoon butter
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper and grated nutmeg to taste
Preheat oven to 375°. Weigh pie shell down with tin foil filled with dried beans or rice. Bake for 10 minutes. Dispose of foil and beans.
Slice vegetables into narrow strips about 2 inches long. Sauté strips in butter, stirring constantly, until slightly soft. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, beat eggs with a whisk until foamy, add milk and cream, and whisk some more. Add cheese and whisk again. Stir in vegetables and seasonings and pour into pie shell. Bake until filling is puffed and lightly brown, about 30 minutes. It should be ready when a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the quiche. Serves 4 to 6.

By simply chopping up a few fresh vegetables and using a good quality olive oil, Italian cooks create fresh and simple sauces in minutes. In Italy, grated cheese is not usually served on pasta with garlic and olive oil. It is certainly an American tradition and is entirely up to the diner.
6 large red-ripe tomatoes, preferably Creole or plum
(about 3 pounds)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 green onions, chopped fine
MARKET MANIA: Great dishes with regional ingredients1 stalk celery, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons Italian parsley leaves, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound pasta, fresh preferred
Grated cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
Drop tomatoes 1 at a time into boiling water for about 3 seconds each and pull the skin off with a knife. It should just slide off. Slice tomatoes in half horizontally and squeeze to remove seeds. Chop and set aside.
Heat olive oil and sauté onions and celery until soft. Add garlic and sauté a minute more. Add fresh tomatoes and sugar and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add herbs and seasonings and cook a few minutes longer. Adjust seasonings and serve over cooked, drained pasta. Add cheese to taste. Serves 4.

Fresh local herbs
“Spicy” is the common term applied to south Louisiana cuisine, and the kick usually comes from cayenne or black pepper. These peppers complement the fresh vegetable “trinity” (onions, bell pepper, celery) and smoked-meat seasonings. They also brown and caramelize both meats and vegetables, resulting in great taste. And any local cook’s kitchen is likely to have a container of Creole or Cajun seasoning stored alongside the salt and pepper.
MARKET MANIA: Great dishes with regional ingredientsOne often overlooked source of flavor comes from fresh herbs, which grow easily in a vegetable garden or even in pots on the patio. Many herbs are sold at farmers markets as plants or in cut sprigs, handy for immediate use. Some cooks say they don’t know how to use herbs in recipes. Here is a list of herbs that grow well in our region and the popular local dishes that they enhance.
One measuring guideline means using at least two to three times as many fresh herbs as you would use of their dry counterparts. French chefs like to cook with several sprigs of different herbs tied together, then they remove the bouquet when cooking is finished. Fresh herbs added to a dish late in the cooking or at different points during the cooking preserves the fresh flavor of the delicate leaves, or adds levels of flavor throughout the cooking.
Basil – marinara sauce, tomato soup, pesto
Oregano – Italian red sauces, eggplant dishes
Thyme – poultry, dressings
Rosemary – lamb, fish
Mint – iced tea, lamb, juleps
Parsley – baked oysters, dressings, gumbo
Bay leaves – gumbo, red beans
Dill – potato dishes, creamed vegetable soups
Cilantro – black beans, guacamole
Sage – pork, stuffings
Lemon verbena – lemon desserts, baked fish

Area farmers markets
Crescent City Farmers Market
700 Magazine St.
(corner Girod Street)
Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon
Uptown Square
200 Broadway
(Broadway side parking lot)
Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Gretna Farmers Market
Huey P. Long Ave. (corner Third
Street) in the old train station
near the courthouse, Gretna
Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Covington Farmers Market
609 N. Columbia St., Covington
(City Hall lawn)
Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Mandeville Trailhead Community
675 Lafitte St., Mandeville
Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
German Coast Farmers Market
13786 River Road, Destrehan
Ormond Plantation
Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon