Here’s another great morning dish that can be prepped the night before and cooked in the morning, or even cooked the night before and served at room temperature A frittata is basically a crustless quiche with endless variations; you can choose any combination of vegetables, cheese, and herbs that appeals to you. If you’re watching your carbs, you can leave out the bread.

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Pan-Steamed Spinach

When dishes are served on a bed of spinach, they are called Florentine because when Catherine de Medici left her home in Florence in the 1500s to marry the king of France, she brought along her own cooks to prepare spinach, her favorite vegetable. Lacking a wealth of recipe ideas and needing some versatility, they often served the spinach underneath whatever they were making. Nevertheless, this is a great way to serve spinach.

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Orzo and Broccoli Rabe

If you haven’t tried broccoli rabe (also known as Italian broccoli or broccoli di rape), this is a good introduction. The bitterness (which I love) overwhelms some people, but is somewhat lessened by the taste of the creamy orzo I can’t convince my husband to eat even this mild rendition, so I often eat it as an entrée when he goes out of town. It is especially good with shaved Parmesan cheese.

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Oven-Baked Corn

If you’ve only had steamed or boiled corn on the cob, you’re in for a real treat. Roasting, which is my favorite method, yields a corn that is drier yet both sweeter and crunchier than steaming. I had never really eaten it until my husband, Mark, surprised me by making dinner. I rarely eat it any other way now.

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Roasted Bell Peppers

Roasted Bell Peppers can be substituted for fresh bell peppers in any recipe. They’re great to have around anyway, as a tasty addition to sandwiches and omelets. You can’t even compare them to those you can buy in jars – it’s like the difference between fresh and frozen orange juice.

Bell peppers, any color

1. Preheat the broiler or oven to 400 degrees.

2. Place the peppers directly under the broiler or in the oven and cook until blackened on all sides

3. Place the peppers in a heavy plastic or paper bag, close, and let sweat for about 10 minutes. Remove from the back, remove the burned skin, then stem and seed the peppers. Slice as desired and use immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

From Party Dips! 50 Zippy, Zesty, Spicy, Savory, Tasty, Tempting Dips (The Harvard Common Press, 2004)