Spinach Quiche

Ah, quiche, my time-saver breakfast. I am out the door before 5 am most mornings, and I know that I do not want to do a dish, but I also do not want to eat a bowl of sugar (I’m looking at YOU, oatmeal, you delicious, unhealthy pile of carb). If I get some protein, fruit, and vegetables into my system in the morning, I’m ready. Look at me, I can take care of my blood sugar and slack on the dishes all by my adult self!

I love The Smitten Kitchen. Most of the recipes there are simple and delicious. The filling for this quiche is pretty much fool-proof, perfect for your run-out-the-door mornings, for a snack, or for lunch or dinner with a salad.

Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen and Martha Stewart

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
1/8 cup cold water, plus more if needed

1 3 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup half and half
3 eggs
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup grated cheddar
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
4 green onions, sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Electric mixer
Large mixing bowls
Baking spatula
Tart pan with removable bottom
Pastry blender or big fork, if making crust by hand
Plastic wrap
Cutting board
Chef’s knife
Box grater
Cookie sheet, for catching quiche drips

Let’s start with the crust! Pie crust is extremely easy to make if you have a food processor, and still very easy by hand.

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl and sprinkle the butter cubes on top. Use a pastry blender or a fork to mash the butter into the flour (or whiz them in your food processor!). The mixture should look nice and mealy when the butter is all pressed in.

Now, pour the cold water over and squish it all together with one hand (Or, with the food processor running, pour in the cold water). This part’s really sticky! Sprinkle in a little more cold water if the dough doesn’t all come together, but not more than 2 tablespoons. We’re going for dough here, not paste!

Dump the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, wrap it up tight, and put that ball into the fridge for at least an hour. I sometimes make up a big batch of pie dough and wrap smaller blobs of it separately, each one about the size of a fist. This dough will keep in the fridge for a few days, or in the freezer for a month.

Now for the filling. Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer (or just whip it with a whisk if it’s soft enough!) in a large mixing bowl until smooth.

On low, beat in the half and half next, then one egg at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Splash alert, I said low power on the mixer!

Add the spinach, cheeses, green onions, salt, and pepper.

Then, fold all of this together with a spatula or wooden spoon.

When it’s baking time, preheat the oven to 425ºF. You could roll out the pie dough and properly lay it over the tart pan, weigh it down with pastry weights or dried beans in parchment paper, and then gracefully cut the sides down. It’s nice to take pride in beautiful food sometimes. Or, you could just squish it right into the pan, making sure it’s about the same thickness everywhere. Rustic, not slapdash.

Some recommend baking the shell by itself for 5 minutes or so, then letting it cool to set, but I kind of like how the filling and the crust melt together and solidify into bready egg stuff. Pour in the filling and poke it with a spatula or wooden spoon until it’s mostly level.

Set the tart pan on a cookie sheet with sides to catch the drips that may come off of it. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the filling no longer jiggles when you shake the pan. Cool on a rack until room temperature, then transfer to a plate. To store, cool uncovered in the fridge until cold, then cover with plastic wrap. This keeps for a week, and each slice only takes a minute to reheat in the microwave. Now you can get to work on time with a filling breakfast in your belly, or come home to a hot, nutritious snack!

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