Monday, December 30, 2013

Vegetable Quiche

A friend of mine gave me some fresh eggs for Christmas and I wanted to make something special with them. Cooking with fresh ingredients is so satisfying...I still have some Rosemary and Thyme growing in my garden, imagine that!  Anyway, a sweet something was out of the question because, quite frankly, my system is in sugar shock following all the holiday goodies.  

I am, however, feeling like something savory.

So, about a year ago I pinned (on Pinterest) a recipe for Vegetarian Quiche.  Perfect. It calls for eggs (naturally) and a bunch of other things I had on hand (bonus), including tomatoes, spinach and cheddar cheese…I had a nice hunk of Irish cheddar cheese, carefully wrapped in fancy cheese paper with pictures of cows, sheep and goats on it, the sources of all cheese.  I also added arugula and garlic -- because it is never bad to add arugula or garlic – and some roasted red peppers. This recipe calls for a puff pastry crust, but I made it with a regular piecrust.  Also, instead of cottage cheese, I used ricotta, because I had it in the fridge.

Daughter returned from a holiday trip, and although she doesn’t normally like quiche, I think she will like this veggie-blast version.  Also, quiche freezes beautifully.  Make sure to wrap it well with plastic wrap and place the wrapped wedges in a zip-lock freezer bag.  Defrost a wedge whenever you feel like quiche! 

Quiche is not just for brunch, you know…it’s perfect for breakfast and paired with a nice salad, makes a great dinner entrĂ©e. And don’t forget about those appetizers…mini quiches make fabulous and functional finger food.   Also, try it crust-less…sister has been making crust-less quiche for years, but just be sure to spray the dish well for easy serving.

Vegetable Quiche
Adapted from:

1 ready-to-fill pie pastry
¾ cup fresh spinach, stems trimmed
¾ cup fresh arugula
4 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (because spinach and nutmeg are perfect together)
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons butter
4 eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
¼ cup of roasted pepper, chopped
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400° and bake the pie pastry (unfilled) for 10 minutes. 

In a large skillet place spinach and arugula and 4 tablespoons water. Heat the mixture over medium and cover the skillet. Cook until the spinach is done, approximately 2-3 minutes then drain well. Add nutmeg to the spinach mixture, chop it up a bit and set aside.

In a large skillet, saute the onion and garlic with butter until the onions are soft and transparent.  Meanwhile, in a medium-size mixing bowl, beat eggs. Stir in the cottage cheese, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, and half the of cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange onions along the bottom of the pie crust...

...and then pour the egg-mixture over the onions and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. 

Bake at 350 degrees F for 55 minutes, or until the quiche has browned and is set in the middle (begin to check it at 45 minutes).   The cooking time will depend on the diameter of your quiche pan.

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