Yesterday afternoon I realized I had no idea what I was going to have for dinner, and I wanted to pick something up at the store that would include greens and protein -- and be something my whole family would eat. My immediate thought: spinach quiche.
I hadn't thought of quiche in ages, really, and I don't know why it popped into my head. I thought I'd go somewhere with a nice deli that would have a pre-made quiche, so I went to O'Malia's (a store I consider mostly over-priced but will frequent for certain things, like fish).
Well, I checked out all the quiche there -- a couple of frozen kinds trying to pass as healthy and a couple of kinds of quiche in the cheese department. None of the crusts were whole grain, and they included mysterious ingredients.
As I perused the goods, I remembered that I used to make a damn fine quiche back in my days as a baker at the now-defunct Encore Cafe, and it was pretty easy. I also remembered I had fresh spinach at home -- for that spinach-stuffed turnip dish I'm still planning to make -- and whole wheat flour, butter, milk, and eggs. I had no reason not to head home and get to work in the kitchen. All I bought was Swiss cheese.
The nice thing about quiche is that you can add whatever vegetables (or sausage, bacon, ham, etc.) you want. It's a great way to use up leftovers. Just make sure the veggies are drained as much as possible of any liquid.
The recipe looks very involved, but after making this once, you'll see how easy it is.
Whole wheat crust (for a 10-inch pie, plus enough for lattice topping*)
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
8-1/2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons cold water (you can add a little more, if you feel the crust is too dry)
1.) Stir together the flour, wheat germ, and salt.
2.) Cut the butter into small pieces and add them to the flour mixture.
3.) Using your hands, work the butter into the flour mixture as well as you can.
4.) Sprinkle the water on top, and mix again by hand. When the crust clumps together nicely in handfuls, pack it into a ball and refrigerate it for an hour.
5.) Press the crust into a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan or round cake pan, making sure there are no holes in the coverage and that it comes up to the top of the pan's sides.*
6.) Bake at 400 degrees for 6-7 minutes.
*You will have some left over if you are using the recipe below.
Spinach and onion quiche (for a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan or cake pan)
1 whole wheat pie crust, partially baked (see #6 above)
2 cups milk, slightly warm
3 eggs, slighly beaten
1/2 medium red onion, sliced into rings
1 teaspoon oil
10 ounces fresh spinach, steamed, cooled, and squeezed of any liquid (you can also use frozen, just thaw it and squeeze out any liquid)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
pinch of nutmeg
3/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
1/8-1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
1.) Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Brown the onion rings briefly. Don't let them get too soft.
2.) Spread the Swiss cheese in the bottom of the crust. Top with spinach and onions.
3.) Whisk together the milk, eggs, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and pour over the spinach and onions. (You could have a little of the milk mixture left if you use more/different veggies than what I've used here.)
4.) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then sprinkle the parmesan on top.
5.) Continue to bake for about 15 minutes, or until filling is set. It's OK if the very middle is slightly jiggly; it has to cool for 10 minutes before getting sliced, and it will continue to cook in that time.
6.) After cooling for 10 minutes, put quiche under the broiler very briefly to brown the top.