When I prepared to share this recipe, I was surprised to realize it would be my first quiche on the blog. It’s one of my favorite springtime dinners: the hens are back to a full laying schedule no matter how cold it was over winter, spring greens and herbs are ripe for the picking, and asparagus is growing by inches every day.
Quiche is a bit more work than frittata, because you have to make and roll out a crust. It also takes longer to cook, because you’re letting the eggs slowly set up in the oven. But it has its upsides too. Because the eggs cook slowly, they come out more like custard, whereas frittata has a tendency to set up more like hard-scrambled eggs and can burn on the bottom of you aren’t careful. The pastry helps to hold everything in place, which can make it easier to enjoy leftovers for a quick breakfast or pack them for lunch. And then there’s the pastry itself: if you’re making one crust, it’s the perfect excuse to double the recipe and bake a crumble-top pie. If you can’t justify a whole pie to yourself, the trimmed edges of the quiche crust can be rerolled into one of my favorite childhood snacks.
Ready to give it a try? Full details are in the recipe below, but here are the basics:
You need just 3 main ingredients plus a pie crust and some refrigerator staples.
1. Fit the crust.
2. Fill it with vegetables and custard.
3. Bake and enjoy.
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Spring Vegetable Quiche
2 cups arugula or spinach, wilted
2 cups asparagus, grilled or sautéed and chopped
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese or Dry-Salted Feta
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup Homemade Sour Cream or Fresh Yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh chives and/or arugula
Fit the rolled pie dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Tear off any dough that hangs more than an inch over the edge of the plate and set it aside (see below). Flute the remaining dough along the plate’s lip, folding it up to the rim and pinching it between your thumb and forefinger to form a wavy edge.
Fill the pie pastry with the wilted arugula and asparagus. In a medium bowl, toss the cheese and flour; add this to the pie pastry. Beat the eggs in the emptied bowl; add the sour cream or yogurt, milk, and spices, and then mix thoroughly. Pour the egg mixture over the pastry.
Tear off a piece of foil half as long as the circumference of the pie plate, and then tear the foil sheet in half down its length. Fold the ends of the pieces together to make a long strip, and then wrap this around the rim of the pie plate and fold the remaining ends together to form a halo that covers the edge of the crust with foil. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes, remove the foil, and then sprinkle with chives, extra fresh arugula, or both. Bake for up to 20 additional minutes, until the custard is set and the crust is golden. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, and then serve warm. Serves 6–8.
Tips & Tricks
- If you don’t have the listed homemade ingredients on hand, substitute store-bought ones; you’ll appreciate your homemade versions even more next time.
- If you’re using a larger or deeper pie plate, add more filling to the shaped pie pastry. You can boost the savory ingredients, increase the custard by an extra couple of eggs, or both.
- If you’re not using leftovers, cook the asparagus briefly, top it with the spring greens, and then cover the pan and let it sit off the burner for a couple of minutes. Unwilted greens may release more liquid than anticipated.
- Although you can cover the entire quiche with foil for the first half of baking, I’ve found it cuts down on the crispness of the top crust. Leaving the foil off tends to brown the edge too quickly.
Twice as Tasty
As with other recipes for your homegrown produce, quiche has plenty of variations. This time of year, you can replace the arugula or spinach with other early greens, like baby chard. Skip the leafy greens altogether and substitute sautéed spring onions and garlic. Throw in some early peas or roasted radishes. As the growing season continues, grab broccoli, zucchini, peppers, carrots—the list goes on.
Cooking the vegetables first will keep your quiche from getting overly watery. This makes it a great way to use up leftover veg. That goes for proteins too: I often add leftover grilled salmon or other fish. Plan on about 3 cups of filling (with perhaps 1 more cup if you’re using greens) for any variation.
And that bonus snack I mentioned? I thought it was the best part of homemade pie when I was a kid, and it doesn’t even need a recipe. After you’ve shaped your crust into the pie plate, gather up the torn-off pieces and roll them out once more. Smear the dough with a little bit of softened butter, and sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar. Put it in the preheated oven while you’re assembling the rest of the quiche; it will be ready in 10–15 minutes. “Cinnamon crust,” as I always called it, was paired with a glass of milk when I was younger; these days, I prefer it with a cup of tea or a springtime cocktail.
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