Recently, I have realized the great qualities of quiche, and it has entered my weekend breakfast rotation. Quiche just has a lot going for it.
For starters, quiche is simple and easy to make, but when you bake it in a tart pan, it’s elegant and dressed up enough for company. Quiche is satisfying; a nice big wedge fills you up for several hours. Quiche also has it figured out in the balance department – we pack a lot of vegetables in the filling, which makes up for the butter in the crust and cheese in the custard. Plus, you probably have all of the major ingredients in your pantry (butter, flour, and eggs), and the minor ingredients (veggies, cheese) are super flexible. If you don’t have spinach, use kale! If you don’t have parmesan cheese, just throw in a little more cheddar!
broccoli and spinach quiche
crust recipe from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
note: I had a little extra filling that didn’t fit in my tart shell. If you have extra too, just bake it in a ramekin.
for the whole wheat pastry:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (preferably white whole wheat)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 oz) very cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice cold water
for the filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets and tender stems, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups lightly packed spinach, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
4 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk or half and half
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
to make the crust:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, and salt. Add the butter. With a pastry blender or your fingers, work the butter into the flour until the butter is the size of peas. Stir in the water until the dough begins to hold together. Turn the dough out onto the counter top and knead gently about 5 times until the dough holds together well. Flatten into a disc and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured countertop, roll out your dough to a little over a 12 inch circle. Lift the dough over your rolling pin and place in a 9 inch tart pan. Press the dough into the edges and press the extra dough off the top. Prick the bottom with a fork. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up.
Line your crust with foil or parchment paper and fill with baking weights or beans. Bake the crust on a baking sheet for 15 minutes. Then, take the foil/parchment and weights out and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the edges are beginning to brown and the bottom looks done. The pie shell should still be warm when you add the filling. Turn down the oven to 325.
Meanwhile, make the filling:
In a large skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and broccoli and sauté until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 3 minutes more, until everything is tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add the spinach and cook until it wilts, about 3 minutes. Pour in the cream or half and half. It will bubble up. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the liquid has reduced and almost disappeared. The vegetables should just be coated in a thick sauce.
Whisk together the eggs and milk or half and half. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the vegetable mixture, the parmesan cheese, and half of the cheddar cheese. Pour into the warm pie shell. Top with the remaining cheddar cheese and bake until the center is set and the edges of the custard are lightly brown 45-55 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.