Eager to break the routine of working and eating by myself nearly every single day since I began freelancing this summer, I had a friend over for lunch on Friday, but I also had a lot of work to get done that day. Was this the time to make that new savory tart I have been eying for the fall? No. Was this time to go to the store and buy more stuff, when our refrigerator was already brimming with the remnants of our North Fork farmers’ markets finds the weekend before? No.
It was time to make a simple tomato salad, zucchini carpaccio and, most importantly, to revisit my favorite quiche. This was one of the first quiches I ever made, it remains one of my go-tos and I suspect it always will. One of my favorite parts about it is the accessibility of the ingredients. In some lucky cases, I already have them on hand, but that may just be because many of the ingredients are the core ones in my everyday cooking.
It’s also one of these gorgeous recipes that’s impossible to break. I have made it with different cheeses and it still worked. For an Atkins-prone family member, I have baked it in a greased glass quiche pan without a crust. I have swapped the light cream with heavy, and gone in the opposite direction and used skim milk or even evaporated low fat milk. I have used red or white onions instead of scallions; I have added a smashed clove of garlic. I have par-baked the crust, but I generally don’t bother and don’t find it particularly soggy. I have used a homemade tart shell and I have used a store-bought one, but I will not admit which one I worked with yesterday.
And I know what you’re thinking: Haven’t you already told us about this? Yes, but if there is even one person out there that hasn’t made it yet that will so after today, this post will have fulfilled its quota.
P.S. It makes an excellent Sunday night dinner as well.
Adapted from Adapted from Bon Appetit, October 1991
I generally use one half-recipe of Martha Stewart’s Pate Brisee, minus the sugar, rolled out and pressed into either a 9-inch round pie dish or removable-bottom 9-inch round tart pan as the base. You can par bake this if you wish, though I generally do not. The original recipe calls for a sheet of puff pastry as the shell. It is not my preference to do it this way, but I am sure others would like it.
Update 5/30/13 to add: I made this yesterday with 1.5 pounds regular spinach. After removing the heavier stems, washing and wilting it down in a pan, but before pressing out all the water, this worked out to 10 ounces of spinach. So, I’d say if you were interested in starting with fresh grown-up (i.e. not the baby spinach that you wouldn’t bother removing the stems for) spinach, start with the same amount. It’s even more delicious this way, especially with the sauteed leeks I used as well.
1 3-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup half and half (or milk)
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup grated cheddar (gruyere works well, too)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
4 to 6 green onions, thinly sliced (1/2 cup finely diced red or white onion or shallots work as well)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 425°. Beat cream cheese in medium bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in half and half and eggs. Mix in remaining ingredients. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is set, about 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.