Saturday, May 2, 2009

Quiche and Tell

A confession is forthcoming: I am somewhat of a health-nut. This may come as a surprise to you, my dear readers, who have had to endure -sometimes in excruciating details, I am afraid- descriptions of my forays into carbohydrate excess. I admit that this pastry-loving penchant of mine, on occasion, has stymied my efforts at abiding by all things salubrious. A flaky jumbo-sized croissant (or two) has been known to serve good stead as breakfast in lieu of my usual bowl of Kashi cereal; this has been the case when my defenses against the sugar and butter gods are on the ebb in the early hours of the day.

I thought about this duality in my nature recently as I got ready to try out a new recipe for a quiche. As I scanned the ingredients and instructions of the recipe -in the latest Vegetarian Times issue- I found myself reflexively making modifications: what can I do to make the dish more congruent with my particular palate, keep the calorie and fat content down, and all the while still preserve its tastiness?

I guess I have been working with this calculus ever since I have started cooking in earnest, gravitating towards simple dishes -healthy inherently but with a subversive hint of richness.
This spinach and tomato quiche fit the bill: rich phyllo -used sparingly- with the slight saltiness of Parmigiano Reggiano offset the fresh spinach and cherry tomatoes which crown the whole affair.

Aromatic rooibos (which is red tea or red bush in Afrikaans, its eponym denoting the red hue of the tea after processing), a tisane made from a shrub indigenous to South Africa, pairs well with the quiche. I sipped the tartly sweet rooibos which seems to echo similar notes found in those plump cherry tomatoes.

Spinach and Tomato Quiche
(Adapted from Vegetarian Times, April 2009)
Serves 4
6 sheets of frozen phyllo dough, thawed
2 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tsps. toasted sesame seeds
6 cups of baby spinach (boiled for one minute, then all liquid squeezed out)
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup of shredded Parmigiano Reggiano (or Parmesan cheese)
Quiche Batter
2 eggs
1 cup fat free milk
A generous pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to season
1. Preheat oven to 350F. To make Crust, coat 9-inch pie pan with olive oil. Lay 1 phyllo sheet on work surface, and brush all over with olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds. Top with second phyllo sheet ( I find that it is best to have the edges of the sheets overhang each other; otherwise, there is not enough dough to form a nice crust- as you can see from my rather raggedy crust in the top photo) and brush with oil. Top with third phyllo sheet, brush with oil, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds. Repeat phyllo and oil layers two more times. Then, sprinkle fifth phyllo sheet with remaining sesame seeds and top with sixth phyllo sheet. Press into prepared pie pan and trim edges with scissors if needed.
2. To make Filling: Sprinkle cheese over crust and top with the spinach. Then arrange tomato halves over quiche.
3. To make Quiche Batter: Whisk together all ingredients in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Then pour Quiche Batter over Filling in crust.
4. Set quiche on baking sheet. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until top is brown and center is set.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I tried the quiche, and it's great! Even my husband (who usually hates eggy dishes) was pleased. So, if you have any more recipes for quiches, bring 'em on!

Thanks, Doris in Austin