I’m trying to expand my “quick dinner” repertoire. This doesn’t have to mean quick to fix (even though it is in this case) but something that can either be easily re-heated or eaten cold/at room temperature. I grew up loving quiche. Quiche Lorraine, spinach quiche, leek quiche, mushroom quiche, broccoli quiche… I love them all. They are a great way to eat your vegetables! Quiche is not only very simple to make but no matter what you put in it you get a healthy meal that you can eat for lunch, or dinner (or cold breakfast as was the case this morning). I remember quiche being the go-to dinner during a busy week growing up. I knew this week would be the same for me so I planned ahead! I wanted to make an asparagus quiche but Whole Foods was surprisingly out of asparagus. I know the season is over at the farmer’s market but I figured the store would have some. Maybe WF is more “seasonal” than I thought! After listening to the produce guy profusely apologize for the lack of asparagus and promise me he would have some tomorrow, I found some mushrooms and leeks and went with those instead.
Quiche aux Poireaux et Champignons
Adapted from Julia Child’s “quiche aux oignons” from Mastering the Art of French Cooking-Volume One
1 pie crust (I used a whole wheat one but it tasted a little funny so I would recommend whatever you usually use)
2 medium sized leeks
1/2 tbs of flour
little knob of butter
2 tbs of olive oil
About 2 cups of roughly chopped crimini mushrooms
3 eggs (the recipe called for 2 eggs or 3 yolks so I just put in all three eggs. I’m guessing this made my quiche firmer than had I just used 2. It worked…I liked it… so I’m going to go with it)
2/3 cup of heavy cream
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
1/2 cup of grated Swiss cheese (I used ementhal)
Pre-bake your pie crust: Set oven to 400 degrees. Take your pie shell and prick the bottom all over with a knife, cover it with aluminum foil and fill it with either little pastry peas or if you don’t have any like me, use dried beans. I used lentils. The beans/ pastry peas weigh down the shell to make sure it doesn’t bubble up while baking. Bake the pie shell with the beans for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Take the pie shell out and reduce the oven to 375 degrees.
Prep your vegetables: Wash and roughly chop your mushrooms. Slice your leeks in half and run them under water to make sure all the sand and dirt trapped between the leaves are gone. Slice the leeks into thin half moons. The larger the half moons are the longer the leeks will take to cook down so use your judgment!
Put half of your butter in a sauté pan with some olive oil so the butter doesn't burn, and sauté them until they have released some of their liquid and are slightly brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Put the rest of the butter and a little more olive oil into the pan and add the leeks. They will take longer to cook. Let them kind of sweat in the pan until they soften up considerably and you don’t think you’ll bite into a piece of raw “onion”. They will cook a little more when you are baking the quiche but you want them to be mostly cooked now. Add the cooked mushrooms and let them get to know each other. Add a little salt and a pepper to taste. Sprinkle the flour and mix it al together. Take off the burner and let them cool off a little (you’ll be adding this to the egg/cream mixture and you don’t want to scramble the egg).
In a bowl mix the 3 eggs and the cream together. Add your leek and mushroom mixture to the eggs along with 2/3 of the grated cheese. Mix well.Don’t you just love the color of these eggs? I finally broke down and bought eggs at the farmer’s market instead of a the store… They taste great and are just so pretty!
Remove the beans and foil from your pre-baked pie crust (I’m assuming this is an obviously step but you never know) and then pour your mixture into the pie shell. I kept my pie shell on a cookie sheet just to make it easier to take it in and out of the oven. Cover the quiche with the extra cheese and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. When it is done the cheesy top should be lightly browned. The quiche will look slightly puffy when you first take it out. The eggs will deflate a little bit as it cools. That’s fine, in fact that’s normal.
I eat quiche cold, warm, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s such a versatile receptacle for all sorts of delicious ingredients. You can make a ham and cheese one, one with all sorts of green vegetables if you don’t think you are eating enough “vitamin green”, you could make it “Mediterranean” with olives, peppers, tomatoes and Feta, or go Scandinavian and use smoked salmon and dill. There are so many combinations it’s pretty hard to get tired of quiches. The cream and eggs give you protein even if you only put vegetables in it so you are covered in terms of nutrition. Explore and enjoy!
Leek and mushroom quiche served with sautéed sugar snap peas and fleur de sel. Paired with the always necessary glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
POLL: How many people noticed that I first posted this with “leak” quiche in the title. My proofreader-grandmother would NOT be impressed.