The humble quiche is a summer favorite in my household. I like quiche for lots of reasons, but the fact that it can be made ahead and served room temperature or even cold is at the top of my list. This version, packed with summer vegetables, is a scrumptious solution for the cook who finds himself with more vegetables than he can eat. For me, a habit of over-buying at the Farmer’s Market and two thriving squash plants have me constantly on the lookout for ways to use up my surplus.
I saute bell pepper, red onion, yellow squash and zucchini for a flavorful filling for this recipe, but don’t limit yourself to these four ingredients. Four cups of whatever vegetable you have on hand will work just fine; raid your refrigerator bin for any leftover produce from the week’s cooking. Bits and pieces are great and I think quiche is a very acceptable way to use up those vegetables that are beginning to grow a little weary.
With vegetables in hand, lunch or dinner comes together quickly with a little effort and the addition of some basic pantry ingredients that I can almost guarantee you have on hand already. For the busy cook, shorten the prep time by using a store-bought pie dough instead of making your own.
As for sides, keep it simple and light. A mixed green salad and/or fresh fruit is a perfect accompaniment to the richness of the quiche. Happy cooking!
Summer Vegetable Quiche – Printer Friendly Recipe
4 to 6 servings
I tend to go a little overboard at the Farmer’s Market and often come home with more vegetables than we can eat. This is a fabulous way to use up vegetables that are beginning to look a little weary and a great way to introduce vegetables into a breakfast or lunch.
For the pastry dough:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
5 tablespoons ice cold water, more if needed
For the quiche:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped yellow squash (about 1 small squash)
1 cup chopped zucchini (about 1 small zucchini)
1 cup finely chopped red onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper (about 1 small pepper)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Special equipment: 8- or 9-inch pie plate
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
To make the pastry dough by hand whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Use two forks or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until the fat is in small lumps. Sprinkle the ice-cold water over the flour mixture and use a fork to pull the mixture together. Add up to 1 more tablespoon of water, in teaspoonfuls, if the dough is not coming together.
To make the pastry dough in a food processor, place the flour and salt in the bowl of the food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the fat is distributed in pea-sized lumps. Add the ice-cold water while continuing to pulse until the dough just comes together.
Turn the dough out on the counter (whether made by hand or by the food processor) and, working quickly, mold it into a large ball. Press the ball into a 5-inch disc. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes and up to one day.
On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to a large, 1/4-inch thick circle. Use the rolling pin to transfer the dough from the countertop to the pie plate. Turn under the dough around the edges to form a thick crust, trimming as needed. If the dough is thin in any place, patch that area with an excess piece of dough. Place the pie plate with the dough in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before baking.
While the pie crust chills, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the pie crust from the freezer and place a piece of foil over it. Add dried beans or pie weights on top of the foil to weight it down during cooking (this is called blind baking) and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the dried beans/pie weights and foil from the pie and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove the partially baked crust from the oven and let cool.
To make the quiche filling, melt the butter in a medium skillet and add the squash, zucchini, red onion and red bell pepper to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 7 minutes. Scrape the vegetables into the partially baked pie crust and use a spatula to distribute the ingredients evenly.
In a small bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, egg and egg yolk and season with salt and pepper. Pour the cream and egg mixture over the vegetables.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove the quiche from the oven and sprinkle the cheese over the top. Cook for another 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. The quiche is ready when it is golden brown and the center is puffed. Remove from the oven and let cool at least five minutes before slicing. Quiche may be served hot or at room temperature and pairs best with a nice green salad or fresh fruit.