I must admit that I am really tired of winter and snow. However, having a snow day does give me time to be in the kitchen and make delicious food for my family. Anita called me yesterday morning and said, “What are you cooking?” It took me off guard because I didn’t think I was making any noise when I picked up the phone. I said, “why do you think that I am cooking?” She said, “because what else would you be doing on a day like today!” I guess she really does know me. Sisters! So, yes, yesterday I spent the morning in the kitchen, that is after I spent time shoveling! I never plan for what I am going to cook, it is more likely that I open my refrigerator, see what is in there, and then decide. There was a beautiful cauliflower staring me in the face when I opened the refrigerator door, so I was inspired to try a recipe that I have seen floating around – quiche made with a cauliflower crust. I love to make quiche ever since I got back from living in France. Honestly it is more like a vegetable tart than a true quiche, but I find them easy to make and nice to have around for a breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
The other thing that I must admit is that I have a difficult time following a recipe. I will often look at the recipe and follow some or most of it, but generally I am always thinking, even before I make a recipe for the first time, how I can change it. So the cauliflower crust was no different. The recipe called for placing the cauliflower in a food processor, pulsing it until it resembled a fine crumb, then cooking it, and finally squeezing out all of the water so that it would resemble flour. So as long as I am confessing things, I will also say that I am often looking for shortcuts. These directions just seemed too labor intensive, so I changed them.
I used a medium sized head of cauliflower and pulsed it in my food processor until it resembled course crumbs. Here is where I deviated the recipe. I did not want to cook the cauliflower with water only to squeeze it out again, so I sprayed a shallow tray with olive oil and roasted the cauliflower at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes, until they were slightly browned and soft.
I placed the crumbs back in the food processor without squeezing out any water, because they were pretty dry from the roasting, added an egg and some salt and spices and turned it on to mix everything together.
I sprayed my pie plate with olive oil and pressed the crust into the pan.
I decided to precook the crust so that it would not be too soft when I added the vegetables and the eggs. I put it back in the 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes.
You can see that it was just slightly browned. While the crust was cooking, I started to cook my vegetables. My favorite quiche is leek and onion. However, yesterday I only had one leek so I added asparagus as well. Basically I chop my vegetables and cook them in a pan with olive oil until they are soft. I usually lightly salt them as they are cooking. When they are cooked I place them in the crust.
I usually fill the crust almost to the top with vegetables. I will then add 4-5 eggs depending upon how many vegetables are in the crust. If it is filled to the top, I will only use 4 eggs. I did not have as many vegetables in this crust, so I used 5 eggs. I beat the eggs and added some non-dairy milk with salt and herbs. My secret ingredient is Herbamare. It is a salt substitute that I think makes all the difference. I often add a non-dairy cheese but I did not have any yesterday so it was just plain vegetables.
I put the quiche back in the oven at 375 degrees F and cooked it until it was brown on top and it puffed up in the middle. It could take 30-40 minutes. My quiches are not an exact science but that’s what makes them easy. You can add any vegetables, any meat, any cheese, you can be as creative as you want, and they will still be delicious!
The edges on the quiche were a little darker than I normally would like but they were not burnt so I was fine. It is best to let the quiche cool down slightly before you serve it. It will collapse down, that is normal. Cut and serve with a salad and you have a great dinner. Tomorrow morning you have breakfast and the next day you have lunch. Enjoy!