Sunday, February 22, 2009
And yet more ways to cook greens
Believe it or not, I’m not tired of eating greens even with 3 big bunches of greens ever week (last week it was arugula, spinach, and beet greens… plus romaine lettuce and baby lettuce mix). There are just so many things to do with them. I am doing better on using the beet greens than the beets!
I love quiche, and used to make quiche the normal way with a pie dough crust, and then always put spinach in the eggs (aka Quiche Lorraine). But pie dough (as wonderful as it is) has a lot of butter, which is not a big deal if you are eating a small sliver, but I like about a quarter of the pie for dinner (which, using my pie crust recipe, would be 1½ tablespoons of butter), which is why I tried this recipe. I was a bit hesitant because it looks weird (flour and bread crumbs… no egg and just a bit of oil to hold it together?), I really did not think it would work, but I trust the recipe book I adopted it from... The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest (Mollie Katzen's Classic Cooking). I have made it several times, and it’s always come out great (even the leftovers).
One last note – it’s easy to make the bread crumbs. Use the crust and end pieces from whole wheat sandwich bread – let dry on the counter for a couple of days (break into chunks to make sure they are really dry) and put them in a plastic bag until you are ready to use (like in a month or two). If you are really channeling your depression era grandmother, you will use the plastic bag the bread came it. When ready to use, just crush them (a rolling pin while they are still in the bag works great).
EDIT: Better way to make bread crumbs: cut bread (any kind, stale is fine) into chunks, and put into food processor. Process in bursts until broken up into crumbs. Place crumbs on parchment lined sheet pan, place into a low oven (275F, convection if you have it) until dry but not browned. Check every 10 minutes and toss the crumbs (I think it takes 20-30 minutes). Store excess crumbs in the freezer.
Spinach Crusted Quiche
2 Tablespoons olive oil
¾ lb fresh spinach or other greens, finely minced
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup flour
¾ cup dry bread crumbs
Heat oven to 375F. Lightly oil a 9 – 10 inch pie or quiche pan.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the spinach and salt, saute over medium high heat until the spinach is limp. Add a bit of water if it’s too dry. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Pat into the oiled pie pan. Use a fork at first, and then your fingers to mold the crust.
Prebake for 25 minutes. No need to cool before adding filling.
Layer the following in the crust:
Cheese: ¼ pound or a bit more (grated). I like Swiss types, like Jarlsburg or Gruyere.
Meat (optional): ¼ lb or so of ham or prosciutto, or a bit of bacon, or leftover chicken.
Vegetables: 1 cup or bit more. onions, mushrooms (need to sauté first), asparagus or broccoli (lightly steamed), and/or chopped red peppers, plus herbs as desired.
Custard: 3 eggs plus 1 cup milk (can use regular milk, half and half, unsweetened soy milk, low fat milk or a mix), whisked together. Pour evenly over the filling.
Cook for 35 minutes or until firm. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Can be served any temperature.