Dramatic yet effortless, this main-course salad pairs well with hot French bread and a sumptuous chocolate cake for dessert.

  • 1 large bell pepper, yellow, orange or red
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 4 strips soy “bacon”
  • ½ cup canned cannelloni or navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup cooked green peas
  • 3 Tbs. snipped dill weed
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbs. pine nuts
  1. Slice bell pepper in half lengthwise, cutting carefully through stem end to keep end intact while removing stem. Discard seeds and inner membranes, and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook soy “bacon” until browned, turning several times, 5 to 7 minutes. Avoid burning.
  3. Combine beans, peas, dill weed, feta cheese, salt and pepper to taste in mixing bowl, and toss to mix well. Carefully spoon mixture into pepper halves, sprinkle with pine nuts and serve.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Cook’s Illustrated magazine, see
From the episode: Sweet Summer Endings
Makes one 9-inch pie, serving 8 to 10
To account for any imperfect strawberries, the ingredient list calls for several more ounces of berries than will be used in the pie. If possible, seek out ripe, farmers’ market-quality berries. Make certain that you use Sure-Jell engineered for low- or no-sugar recipes (packaged in a pink box) and not regular Sure-Jell (in a yellow box); otherwise, the glaze will not set properly. The pie is at its best after two or three hours of chilling; as it continues to chill, the glaze becomes softer and wetter, though the pie will taste just as good.
  • 4 pints fresh strawberries , gently rinsed and dried, hulled (see note)
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons recipes (see note)
  • Table salt
  • 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 recipe Baked Pie Shell (see related recipe)
1. Select 6 ounces misshapen, underripe, or otherwise unattractive berries, halving those that are large; you should have about 1½ cups. In food processor, process berries to smooth puree, 20 to 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed. You should have about ¾ cup puree.
2. Whisk sugar, cornstarch, Sure-Jell, and salt in medium saucepan. Stir in berry puree, making sure to scrape corners of pan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with heatproof rubber spatula, and bring to full boil. Boil, scraping bottom and sides of pan to prevent scorching, for 2 minutes to ensure that cornstarch is fully cooked (mixture will appear frothy when it first reaches boil, then will darken and thicken with further cooking). Transfer to large bowl and stir in lemon juice. Let cool to room temperature.
3. Meanwhile, pick over remaining berries and measure out 2 pounds of most attractive ones; halve only extra-large berries. Add berries to bowl with glaze and fold gently with rubber spatula until berries are evenly coated. Scoop berries into pie shell, piling into mound. If any cut sides face up on top, turn them face down. If necessary, rearrange berries so that holes are filled and mound looks attractive. Refrigerate pie until chilled, about 2 hours. Serve within 5 hours of chilling.
Cut pie into wedges. Serve with whipped cream.