This traditional French dish takes a bit of time but is worth it for the rich tasty breakfast, lunch, or supper dish you’ll create. It’s a nice change from the same old boring breakfasts you usually make. This recipe uses fresh spinach and a flaky crust made from scratch but if you’re lazy, you can substitute frozen chopped spinach and store bought crust; but where’s the satisfaction in that. If you do use frozen spinach, make sure to completely thaw it and drain away the moisture. If I have time and plan ahead, I make the ricotta cheese, but that’s only when I can find fresh milk that has not be pasteurized (sterile milk does not ferment).
You can substitute different cheeses that those specified and be creative with optional ingredients. For example, it’s always tasty to add roasted green chili (chopped with seeds removed), some East Indian spices, and of course a protein. To dress up presentation, you can dust the top with Paprika before serving.
- ½ Red onion – diced
- 8 oz. fresh baby spinach or a 10oz box of frozen
- 8 oz. Sausage, ham or bacon (optional) – diced (1)
- Pastry crust to fill base and sides of your 9.5″ pie pan (not the top)
- 4 eggs
- 6 oz. Ricotta cheese
- 6 oz. Heavy cream
- ⅓ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese – grated
- 1 TBL fresh basil – chopped
- 1 TBL butter
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Make crust in advance of starting, preferably the night before. Place in pie pan, pinch edge, cover with film, and refrigerate.
- Mis en Place: measure and prepare all your ingredients before you start.
- Warm skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Add onion and cook until soft (~ 1 min). Be careful not to scorch the butter.
- Add spinach and cook until softened and spinach starts to wilt (~1 min). Cover skillet and cook an additional 1 min. Remove from heat, uncover, stir and set aside.
- If using green chili, add to mixture.
- If using meat, cook separately and add to mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Retrieve curst from frig and prick bottom and sides with a fork.
- Bake crust 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- In a blender or food processor, combine eggs, ricotta cheeses, cream, basil, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth and frothy, but carful not to churn cream into butter. (2)
- Spread spinach mixture evenly over the crust. Pour egg mixture on top.
- Bake until center of quiche is set and the top is lightly browned (~40 min). (3)
- Let stand 10 minutes before serving to allow quiche a chance to firm up and the cheeses to cool so no one burns their mouths. Dish is often served at room temperature, which means you can make it ahead of serving and allow to completely cool.
- Ham is the traditional protein, but it’s dealer’s choice.
- A blender is more likely to churn the heavy cream to butter than a food processor. The tradeoff is that the food processer is less likely to froth the mixture, which helps the quiche cook to a light delicate texture. With all the other ingredients, it’s unlikely to be an issue just be aware.
- Do not disturb the quiche as it bakes, it is delicate and will collapse if you screw around the oven or jostle the pie tin.