Quiche is sort of a fickle opportunist. It can have a wonderful, homemade, buttery, flaky crust filled with mounds of virtually any sort of cheese and cream and any number of other exotic ingredients. Or, it can be ridiculously simple – as is the case with this recipe. You don’t even need a tart dish – just a plain old pie pan. But no one has to know. Don’t be intimidated by French cuisine – and certainly not quiche. Quiche – at least this quick and easy quiche – is possibly the hardest thing to screw up you will ever make. There’s pretty much no technique involved here, except for maybe stretching out the pre-made pie crust. And you’ll get rave reviews on your dish every time.
Quick and Easy Quiche
- 1 - 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach
- 1 - 14 oz. can artichoke hearts or bottoms – chopped
- 1 medium sweet onion – chopped
- 3 cloves garlic – minced
- 3 tbsp. fresh basil – chopped
- ½ tsp. coarse kosher salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 3 eggs – beaten slightly (or 1 egg and 3 egg yolks – increase milk slightly)
- 1 cup fat free evaporated milk
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 6 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano - shredded
- 6 oz. feta cheese - crumbled
- 1 refrigerated pre-made pie crust
My rule: If you are not lucky enough to have a sous chef - chop, mince, shred or otherwise prepare all of your ingredients for a recipe FIRST. This way, when you come to your directions in a recipe that say add your chopped this or minced that to your pan or other ingredients, you don’t have to stop and go back to prepare those ingredients for the next step. Also, you (or someone else wanting to “help out” with dinner) can do this ahead of time and store in sealed containers in the refrigerator to cut down on the time from pantry to plate in the evenings.
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Bring refrigerated pie crust to room temperature so it is easier to work with – leave out for 15 minutes or pop in microwave for about 30 seconds on low setting. Unroll crust and press firmly into 10 inch glass pie pan. You will have to gently stretch crust a little for this because most pre-made crusts are for 9 inch pies. There won’t be any crust to fold over, but you can still crimp the edge. Pop into the oven for 10 minutes. When you remove from oven and before you fill with egg mixture, you need to wrap the outside edges of your crust with foil so they do not brown too much during baking. This may be a little tricky, as the pan will be hot and the egg mixture really should be added to a hot crust. But, it will be worth it to keep those outer edges nice and flaky instead of hard and blackened.
While your crust is baking: Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil for 2-3 minutes and then add artichoke hearts. Continue sautéing until onion is slightly translucent. Thaw frozen spinach in microwave (2-3 minutes on high) and drain excess liquid. You can put the spinach in a strainer and push out water with a large spoon. I find it easiest to wrap the thawed spinach in a paper towel and squeeze the water out. Add spinach, basil, salt and pepper to sauté pan and mix throughout. Remove from heat.
Beat eggs slightly and whisk in evaporated milk and whole milk. If you are a total stickler for counting calories, you can use reduced fat or skim milk. But I find that whole milk gives a much nicer and creamier texture. Incorporate the cheeses into the mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula. This, is where I cannot scrimp: DO NOT SUBSTITUTE PARMESAN CHEESE FOR PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO. They are not the same cheese. Bad parmesan can, in fact, ruin a dish.
Hopefully, your spinach mixture has cooled a bit and can now be mixed together with the egg mixture. Pour all ingredients into your hot pastry crust and bake at 375 degrees for about an hour (or until quiche is just firm in center).