It’s been a while since I’ve had a quiche and I don’t know why. Last year, I did a spinach and goat cheese variety and there was a roasted red pepper and artichoke in the beginning of the year, but since then — nothing. Weird — because they’re simple to make and you can add any number of ingredients that you have on hand.
In fact, I would say that quiche has been my default, catch-all dish for a long time. Maybe I’ve been so busy trying to impress you with my vast cooking repertoire that I’ve ignored the simple, basic goodness of what is arguably one of my favorite and most comforting meals.
What finally prompted me to action was a lunch date that I made with my grandparents. I usually visit with them every week, taking my grandfather on errands to the market, etc. This week, I had a little extra time before heading to their house and I decided to surprise them with lunch.
Growing up, Madou (my grandmother) and Bem Bem (my pet name for my grandfather) always welcomed me with their home-cooked dishes, like his court-bouillon or her bread pudding. (I also have a memory of Madou serving calves brains — with a tomato sauce, but I choose to block that from my mind.)
Now that they aren’t as active in the kitchen, it’s my turn to cook for them. This quiche went over big! It’s vegetarian – I used lots of kale and mushrooms and of course, cheese. Normally, I would add ham, pancetta or bacon but my grandmother is having trouble chewing these days and I figured this would be easier on her.
She inhaled it. Actually, we all did. I served it with a fall salad and nary a crumb was left. It was like old times. Good times!
- 1 9-inch pie crust
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cups kale, stems removed, very finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons water
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon + 1 pinch kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup grated fontina cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Place pie pastry into glass or ceramic pie plate. Press bottom and sides into plate and finish the edges of the crust by pressing the tines of a fork against the rim of the crust, or by pursing the edges together between your thumb and forefinger. Refrigerate crust until oven has heated completely. Place pie plate into the oven and bake for 6-7 minutes until set and just starting to brown. Remove crust from oven and set aside.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onions to skillet and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms and pinch of salt. Cook 5-7 minutes, until vegetables are tender and mushrooms have given off their liquid, stirring occasionally. Transfer onion mixture to a small bowl.
- Add remaining oil to the skillet and add chopped kale. Cook 1 minute, stirring. Add water and cook until kale is wilted and water has evaporated, stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes. Add kale to onion mixture. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl add eggs, milk, cream, nutmeg, remaining salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Add kale mixture, parmesan and fontina to eggs. Stir to combine.
- Pour filling into pie crust and bake for 45 minutes, until filling is set. Remove from oven. Let quiche cool for half an hour before serving.