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Kale and Gruyere Quiche

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

I’m craving spring flavors like those found in this Kale and Gruyere quiche.  I’ve had too many days of gloomy PNW weather.  I love the rain, but found myself outside yesterday in the morning doing my best to soak up the few sun beams we got.  Our cats were positively ecstatic – two of three parked themselves on the cat tree right in front of the window and basked in the sun.  Even Daisy found a sun spot on the carpet and took a good long time warming her belly.  We are all seriously deprived right now.

Kale and Gruyere Quiche to the rescue.  I love the creamy texture of eggs and cheese in a quiche.  Kale is a versatile vegetable and can be a harbinger of both fall and spring.  While I love having kale in pasta dishes in the fall, there’s nothing better in the spring than a good bunch of kale sauteed and tossed into a quiche.  I used lacinato Kale or dinosaur kale because I love the deep green flavor it brings to dishes.  I sauteed it until it was soft and then drained and pressed out the excess moisture in a colander.  This helps keep the crust from getting soggy.

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

I used a quick olive oil crust for this kale and Gruyere quiche.  I’ve been known to go crustless for my quiches, but this week just felt like that extra little touch might be in order.  One tip for baking the quiche – put the quiche on a baking sheet and put it in the oven.  This way, there’s no slopping of egg and milk into your oven.  Yes – I learned this the hard way.

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

One advantage of using Gruyere cheese is that it melts so well.  I also tossed in a few red pepper flakes to add some heat.  I could have gone either with red pepper flakes or with nutmeg – either would create a nice flavor, but nutmeg is to autumnal for me.  I also used a bit of fleur de sel this time around.  Really, it’s a perfect early spring dish.  I’ll be eating this throughout the week with a quick spinach salad on the side.

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale, washed, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • salt to taste
  • Olive Oil Crust
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Instructions

  1. To make the crust, combine the flour, salt, olive oil, and water in a small bowl. Combine with your hands until the crust holds together. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to the size needed for an 8 inch pie pan. Transfer the crust to the pie pan and refrigerate while you are making the quiche.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Saute the kale in the olive oil for 7 minutes or until it is wilted. Salt to taste. Drain and press out any remaining moisture. Set aside.
  4. Beat the eggs and milk together in a small bowl until frothy. Add the cheese, red pepper flakes, and ground pepper.
  5. Place the sauteed kale at the bottom of the chilled pie crust. Pour the egg/milk/cheese mixture over the top and redistribute the kale as needed.
  6. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until the crust is lightly brown and the eggs are set. Enjoy!
  7. Makes 4 hearty servings.
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This post is linked up to Tinned Tomatoes: Meat Free Mondays.  Check out the great posts that Jacqueline posts each week!

This post is also linked up to #CookBlogShare hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie and Hijacked by Twins.

Hijacked By Twins
Squash Blossom Quiche

Squash Blossom Quiche

I planted one summer squash plant this year for one purpose alone: to have access to squash blossoms for this squash blossom quiche.  Squash blossoms seem like they have become a thing, like kale and bacon.  I suspect I was first introduced to the fact you could eat squash blossoms through reading Martha Stewart’s magazine, but I think the first time I actually tried one was at a coastal restaurant that served them stuffed with shrimp and cheese and deep fried them.  At the same time, we had a farmer at our local market that would come to market each weekend with trays and trays of both baby zucchini and squash blossoms, so I decided to experiment and see what I could make of them. 

The simplest preparation for these that I cook is to throw several into a quesadilla.  The blossoms add a mildly peppery taste.  The most complex preparation that I cook with these is this quiche.  I really like the combination of egg and blossom, and this is a recipe that freezes up nicely, so is great for lunch with a simple salad to accompany it.  It also makes a great weekend brunch recipe.

squash blossoms 2

quiche pre-bake

squash blossom quiche baked

plated squash blossom quiche

Squash Blossom Quiche
Serves 4

4 small potatoes (or 1 large)
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup Swiss cheese (or other mild cheese)
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
4 or 5 squash blossoms, stamens removed

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Slice the potatoes to ¼ inch thickness.  Layer them on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and drizzle with the olive oil.  Bake for 25 minutes or until both sides are slightly crispy.

Drop the temperature on the oven to 375 degrees.  In a medium sized bowl, combine the eggs and milk and beat until combined.  Add the Swiss cheese, salt and black pepper and stir until combined. 

In a non-stick cake pan or pie pan, layer the potato rounds so that they overlap a bit and cover the bottom of the pan.  Gently pour the egg, milk, and cheese mixture over the potatoes.  The potatoes may float – they’ll settle into the bottom as the quiche cooks.  Lay the squash blossoms on top.  Bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until the egg is fully set (check for doneness by inserting a knife or toothpick into the middle of the quiche – if it comes out clean, the quiche is done). 

Morel and Asparagus Quiche

Morel and Asparagus Quiche

Morels are one of those ingredients that are a harbinger of spring for me.  I first found morels at the farmer’s market three years ago.  I’d heard about them, certainly, prior to that – morel recipes would often pop up in my Pinterest feed.  But morels are not something the grocery stores in the areas I’ve lived carry and the first several years I went to the farmer’s market and encountered morels, I wasn’t quite brave enough to figure out what to do with them. 

morel

My first morel experience was daunting.  There’s much conflicting information regarding how, exactly, to treat morels – to soak or not to soak, to wash or not to wash, and so on.  What’s consistent is that morels need to be well cooked, otherwise they can be toxic.  What’s also consistent is that morels are products of the wild – and such, they often come with bits of forest still attached to them: a pine needle here and there, an itty bitty white worm or two.  What I’ve landed on is this: a few hours in salty water doesn’t seem to hurt them and seems to reduce the number of itty bitty white worms that wriggle their way out in the frying pan.  Also, white worms are just protein – and morels are tasty enough not to worry about it too much.  My favorite preparation of morels is sautéed in a lot of butter and served on a burger with bacon.  Since I didn’t have time for burger or bacon this weekend, I think that a quiche with morels and asparagus will do.

morel

Morel and Asparagus Quiche
Serves 4-6

¼ pound morel mushrooms, soaked for 2 – 3 hours in salt water, then chopped
2 cups chopped (2 inch or so pieces) asparagus
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
5 eggs
½ cup shredded cheese (I used a combination of parmesan and mozzarella)
1 teaspoon salt
A few grinds of fresh pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Melt the butter in a non-stick pan.  Add morels and sauté until they are soft.  Add water as needed if they start to stick.  When morels are soft, add the asparagus and sauté for another five minutes or until the asparagus has softened.

morelandbutter asparagusand morel

While the morels and asparagus cook, measure out the milk in a bowl or large measuring cup.  Add the eggs and beat until smooth.  Add the cheese, salt, and pepper and combine.

Put the morels and asparagus in a well-oiled baking pan (a glass 8×8 dish works well).  Pour the egg, milk and cheese over the vegetables. 

quiche pre bake

Bake the quiche for 35-40 minutes or until set.  A knife inserted in the middle will come out clean when it is set.

quiche1

This freezes well, so makes a good lunch meal.

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