Tomato and Spinach Quiche
A quiche is a marvelous thing. For starters, it is a wonderful weekend egg indulgence easily enjoyed with a cup of coffee on a crisp fall morning like today (what a beautiful day today!). Perhaps just as important, a quiche can be made ahead of time and reheated and still taste just as good. They are also the PERFECT vehicle for leftover ingredients hanging around your refrigerator.
This very morning I found myself in the kitchen/living room area of my home, the rest of the house fast asleep save the 19 month old toddler with a cold that was clinging to me like a little baby monkey. I knew I had to serve breakfast to my parents who were visiting from out-of-town, but I needed something quick and easy for obvious reasons. I had a variety of ingredients in my refrigerator that needed to be consumed or they would most certainly hit the trash in the next day or two. They included some baby spinach that was getting a little wilty (is that a word?), a ripe beefsteak tomato brought all the way from Ohio, some even riper cherry tomatoes, some fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. I also had a random pie crust taking up space in my freezer, which I have been trying desperately to clean out. So….with some eggs, milk, half and half, shallots and salt and pepper, the above featured quiche miraculously came to be our morning meal. As my father remarked, “I am not a quiche guy, but this is excellent.” This was both a random reference to the 1980s book, “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche” as well as a rare complement.
But let me digress for a second and go back to one of my opening reasons for why I love quiche. They can be made ahead of time!! I recently received a request on the comment section of the weekend table blog from my friend Joanna. She asked for a weekend egg dish that could be made in advance and served to guests. This quiche certainly fits that bill. In fact, I had intended to make some sort of quiche ahead of time this weekend, but that 19 month old toddler kind of got in my way.
You could easily make this recipe the day before and reheat it in the morning at 325 for about 15 minutes (until heated through). This is a lifesaver on a morning after you’ve served an elaborate dinner the night before, having stayed up talking into the wee hours and had that one glass of wine too many. That type of morning where you find yourself in your kitchen, guests lurking around like little kittens looking for their milk, yet you have no desire to speak to people, let alone cook or make a mess. This quiche is a like a life preserver thrown to you as you swim to keep your head above water. Just pop it in the oven and you are good to go.
I will say just one more thing on this topic. If you want to be a REALLY GOOD overnight guest, bring this quiche WITH YOU the next time you are invited to someone’s home. You will most certainly be the most favorite of guests (or you would be if you came to my house). My sister-in-law recently showed up with a quiche and made me smile big 🙂
So back to this quiche. You’ll want to saute some shallots in butter, adding in the spinach and cooking until wilted. Then spread the spinach in the bottom of the pie crust like this.
Sprinkle the spinach with some quartered cherry tomatoes, some fresh basil and some cubed fresh mozzarella and a little Asiago. Then you’ll want to pour the egg, milk and half and half mixture on the top. I was feeling a little fancy this morning (not really) and mildly artistic so I decided it would look pretty with some thinly sliced beefsteak tomatoes put on top, along with some perfectly placed mini-basil leaves (picked from my plant) and two types of cheese. In addition to being pretty, the beefsteak tomato topping may have been a stroke of genius because I believe it was a critical component of the yummy final product.
- 1 pre-made pie crust
- ½ tbsp of butter
- 1 tbsp finely chopped shallots
- 3 cups of baby spinach
- 1 tbsp chopped basil (with a few small leaves reserved for top)
- ½ cup to ¾ cup of quartered cherry tomatoes (half them if small)
- ½ cup of mozzarella, small cubes plus ⅛ cup for sprinkling on top
- 1 tbsp shredded Asiago or pecorino plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling on top
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup half and half
- ½ cup milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ of a beefsteak tomato, thinly sliced in rounds
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat butter in small sauce pan until sizzling. Add shallots and saute for 2-3 minutes until they begin to brown.
- Add spinach and stir until wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Pour spinach mixture into the bottom of the pie crust, covering the bottom.
- Sprinkle cherry tomatoes, basil, ½ cup of the mozzarella and a tbsp of Asiago on top of spinach mixture.
- Combine eggs, milk, half and half and salt and pepper and mix with a hand or electric mixer. Pour egg mixture over spinach mixture.
- Top quiche with thinly sliced beefsteak tomatoes, small basil leaves and a sprinkling of fresh mozzarella and shredded Asiago.
- Cook at 375 for approximately 40 minutes.