Filled with a basic custard mixture of beaten egg, cream, and seasonings over a filling of cheese and other ingredients, quiche is the sublime and perfect French pie. It can be served warm or cold, although I prefer mine around room temperature. And although you can serve this warm, it slices best after it has had about 15 minutes to settle and cool just a bit.
And although the quiche is French, it was originally German, and evolved out of recipes for kuchen, brought over the alps in the Alsatian regions. You may have heard of Alsatian Quiche, which is similar to Quiche Lorraine. Both have a love of cheese, bacon, and shallot, although many different types of vegetables can be used, as well as different types of meats and seafood. Everyone will have their own favorite combinations.
I enjoy varying the ingredients in my quiche, especially the cheese. Most cheese will work wonderfully, especially if it is a semi-hard or semi-soft cheese. Although I don’t tend to bake with ripened cheeses, many of those are at their best alongside quiche with a platter of fresh fruit and crackers, flat bread or a baguette.
Quiche is wonderful for breakfast or brunch although I will eat it anytime. Made into a tart and sliced into manageable pieces, or alternatively baked into mini-quiche in a small muffin pan, it makes a great food for entertaining. This savory vegetable quiche can be made as a tart or more like pie, whichever you prefer. The baking time won’t be affected by that at all, so whichever pan you have or like should do just fine.
As for the saying, “real men don’t eat quiche," don’t be fooled. Some guy out there obviously has himself a plan to scare all the other men away and keep their share for himself. And it is possible that after you taste this quiche, you will be tempted to come up with a ruse of your own. Quiche is really simple to make, as well as make-ahead and reheat, so make all you want and invite your friends for a quiche party. Show them what real people eat.
Quiche with broccoli, mushrooms, and kale
1 prepared quiche pastry or single pie crust
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup chopped shallots or mild onion
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh broccoli
2-1/2 ounces baby kale leaves or fresh spinach
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
3 large pastured organic eggs, lightly beaten
5 ounces smoked gouda, shredded
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place pie crust into a pie plate or tart pan and crimp edges.
3. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet and cook shallots, mushrooms, and broccoli until soft, seasoning with salt and pepper during cooking.
4. Add kale and stir until it just begins to wilt.
5. Whisk together beaten eggs and heavy cream.
6. When sauteed veggies have cooled a little bit, spread them on top of the pie crust. Top that with the shredded cheese, then pour the custard mixture over all. Dot with butter.
7. Place pie pan on a cookie sheet or other supportive sheet and bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes or until puffed, golden, and set in the center.
8. Cool 15 minutes before slicing; can be served warm or at room temperature.