Quiche has become my latest pie-related obsession. There is something so homey and comforting about a warm slice of quiche, and it offers the endless flavor possibilities of pie. There are also many different ways to make a quiche. I have arrived at a simple formula: fill your crust with a layer of vegetables, add a layer of cheese, pour eggs on top, and bake. I couldn't get enough of this particular quiche, so I took care to remember how I did it. Enjoy!
dough for a single-crust pie, chilled
1 1/2 fennel bulbs, sliced (1 or 2 would work fine, but this is what I had)
1 medium onion, sliced
4 or 5 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of chard, stems and leaves separated and chopped up
1 cup grated cheese (I used gouda! Use whatever cheese you like, though I recommend something mild for this quiche)
a little goat cheese (optional)
generous splash of milk
a few shakes each of: nutmeg, paprika, turmeric, white pepper
small amount of grated cheddar to top it off (optional)
Drizzle some olive oil on a baking sheet, and toss the fennel and onion around on it. Sprinkle a little fennel seed over the vegetables if you'd like an extra fennel kick. Wrap the garlic cloves in foil and put it on the baking sheet. Roast the vegetables at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until everything is tender and just starting to brown at the edges. Stir the vegetables after the first 20 minutes to make sure they cook evenly.
Meanwhile, heat a little more olive oil in a sautee pan and add the chard stems - red chard is especially nice, because it adds a really great color. After the stems cook for a few minutes, add the chard leaves and continue cooking until the leaves are wilted but still bright green. Don't overcook your greens! After the greens are done, turn off the heat and add your roasted onions and fennel, tossing everything together.
In a small bowl or measuring cup, beat the eggs and milk. Add the spices. Remove the now-roasted garlic from the foil and squeeze the tasty innards of each clove into the eggs. Whisk it all together until the eggs are well beaten and the garlic and spices are really mixed in.
Roll out the pie dough and place it in a buttered pie dish. Spoon the veggie mixture into the bottom of the crust. Dot this with a little goat cheese - just a little, though. You want the flavor of the vegetables to stand out on this one! Layer the grated cheese on top. Pour the egg mixture over the whole thing, using your spoon if necessary to make sure the egg goes all the way to the edges. Trim the edges of the crust and make it pretty if you are so inclined.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the eggs are set. If you want a little extra cheese action, sprinkle a little extra grated cheese on top after the first 15 minutes. I used cheddar for that last step, because I ran out of gouda. The combination was fantastic.
Eat it up! This is the perfect food for brunch. Or breakfast. Or dinner. Or a late night snack... Mmmm, quiche!