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Bellwether Spring Quiche

Greetings Friends!
 
While these weeks and months have been some of the most challenging we have ever encountered, at least we have all been forced to slow down. For once, we all have some spare time. Time to spend with family members, time to take a nature walk, and of course, time to prepare healthy and delicious home-cooked meals! I do admit to having a slight advantage here at Bellwether, with Farmer Kyle and the green house in my front yard, but there are still ways for all of us to be creative with whatever ingredients are at hand. Let’s consider a spring quiche! 
 
The secret to a fabulous quiche is perfecting the crust. So, with all this time on our hands, why not make the crust from scratch? My friend Martha Taylor (St. Peter’s, Lakewood) wins the award for most flakey and buttery pie crust, hands down. She shared her recipe with me and has agreed that I can share it with you as well.
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup Crisco butter flavored shortening
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons of very cold water
Put flour, Crisco and salt in a medium mixing bowl.  Cut together using a pastry blender utensil. Add 3 tablespoons of water and continue cutting. Add an additional tablespoon of water if dough seems dry.  Gather the dough into a ball and roll it out on a floured surface. I find that refrigerating the ball of dough for 30 minutes prior to rolling it out helps decrease sticking.
 
Place in pie dish.
 
Dock the bottom of the crust with a fork and prebake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.  
 
Now for the filling. Use whatever vegetables (fresh or frozen) you have available. For this recipe, I’m using spinach, kale, leeks, and tomatoes.
 
 Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • ¼ cup white wine (or chicken stock)
  •  ½ cup of leeks, cut and separated into rings
  •  ½ tablespoon of chopped garlic
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 2 cups of kale
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 6 ounces of shredded fontina cheese (or your choice)
  • 1 cup of sliced cherry tomatoes (or diced whole tomatoes)
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sweat the leeks the and bloom garlic. Avoid burning the garlic by deglazing the pan with white wine or chicken stock.
  3. Next, add in the spinach and kale, tossing frequently while seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes or until wilted. Set aside and drain off juices. 
  4. Combine the eggs and heavy cream in a blender. Add salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. The blending helps to incorporate air into your quiche resulting in a lighter finished product. 
  5. Fold vegetables and cheese together and add to prebaked pie crust. Pour in blended eggs and cream. Top with 1 ounce of cheese and tomatoes. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned on top and firm in the center.
One final culinary tip: Your completed dish will only be as tasty as each individual component. So, make sure each component can stand alone. For example, with this quiche, make sure the crust is well made and the vegetables are nicely seasoned, as are the blended eggs and heavy cream. Imagine each component being served by itself.  
 
Taking special care and attention with each step as you prepare the dish will incorporate love, the secret ingredient that will leave your guests wanting more. 
 
Bon Appetite,
 
Chef Lonny
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