Arugula Quiche

In my last CSA box, I received a bag of arugula, which is slightly peppery and pairs well with strawberries and other berries in a pretty spring salad.  That was last week’s meal, though, and I can only eat so many arugula salads.   I also still have arugula pesto in my freezer, another great way to use it, but I didn’t need any more of it.  So what to do with this bag of peppery arugula?  A quiche sounded like a good idea to me.

Growing up, I never had quiche.  It was a little too frou-frou sounding and something most large families didn’t tackle, especially in the Midwest.  I don’t think I had any quiche until my mid-twenties at friends’ house for brunch.  It was quite good.  I had never considered making it.  It looked too difficult with a pie crust and silky filling.   Then I started my CSA box and began receiving lots of greens, which after some internet surfing I found out go great in quiches.  I searched for a good but simple quiche recipe and dove in.  Now I’d say I made a quiche at least once every other month, if not more.

I typically make my pie dough on the weekend, freezing one disc and placing the other in my refrigerator for later in the week.  Then all I need to do during the week is throw the filling together and bake it.  This turns an ornate-sounding quiche into a simple and satisfying weeknight meal.  Also a quiche is perfect for impressing company and great for all meals.

Arugula Quiche

(adapted from various quiche recipes including Smitten Kitchen’s spinach and swiss chard quiches, and from the cookbook Vegetarian Cooking and Vegetable Classics by Roz Denny and Christine Ingram)

1 pie crust (see pie dough)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 an onion, thinly sliced (I used 1 whole spring onion)
2 cloves minced garlic (I used half a green garlic head)
1 bunch or bag of arugula, rinsed and roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste (I use about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
4 eggs
1/3 cup milk*
3 tablespoons plain yogurt*
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (you can use less or swap out for different cheeses)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator and roll out into a circle.  Fit the dough into a pie or tart pan.  If you have any scrapes you can roll them back up, wrap them in plastic wrap and toss them in the freezer.  Combine them with scraps of the other half and you have another pie crust or dough for some yummy turnovers.

Par bake the crust by placing aluminum foil over the pie dough and then fill the pan with dried beans.  Place on a baking sheet and put into a 425-degree oven for 10 minutes.  Remove the foil and beans (allow to cool before placing back in a bag for use with another pie).  Poke a few holes in the bottom to allow steam to escape and then put back in the oven for 8 more minutes, until the crust starts to turn golden brown.

While the crust is par baking, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet.  While heating, thinly slice your onion half and then add it to the skillet.  Add salt and pepper.  Saute the onion until it starts to brown (4-5 minutes).  While sauteing, mince the garlic.  Once the onion is brown add the garlic and saute another minute.  Add the arugula and saute until wilted (4-5 minutes).  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, crack 4 eggs, add the milk, yogurt, and parmesan cheese.  Whisk ingredients together into a homogeneous mixture.  Once the arugula mixture has cooled to room temperature (or almost) add it to the egg mixture (add it slowly to temper the eggs if it is still a little warm). Warning:  if you add the arugula while it is still hot it will curdle your eggs, which is not desirable for a quiche (though works well for a frittata – future post).

Carefully pour the filling into the par baked pie crust and smooth it out so the arugula is evenly distributed.  Place the quiche into the 425-degree oven for 25 minutes, until the filling is set (poke a knife in the center and make sure it doesn’t ooze) and the top is lightly golden brown.  Allow to cool slightly (5-10minutes).  Admire your handiwork and eat.  I recommend pairing it with a simple salad or simply grape tomatoes tossed in a red wine vinaigrette.  Also you could have it with that wine you poured out to roll out the dough.

*I use skim milk in my kitchen, so when I make anything that calls for buttermilk, half and half, whole milk or any milk that is thicker, I just add a few tablespoons of plain yogurt (again, I use non-fat).  The yogurt thickens the mixture ,making it creamer without all the extra fat.


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