Okay, okay, I get it, I finally get it! It really does take extra diligence to manage the constant arrival of new vegetables from a CSA. Week in, week out, it gets hard to keep up. At the end of the week, with another box due too soon, you don't want to still have last week's vegetables hanging around. So this summer I'm extra-keen on recipes that use up bits and pieces of vegetables since often, there's not enough of any one vegetable in each week's delivery to really "cook" on its own, just a small bag of green beans here, a smaller bag of broccoli there.
My master recipe for Homemade Vegetable Soup is a godsend, so is Summer Vegetable Stew and Finnish Summer Soup. But I'm looking for other recipes too, everyday healthy recipes. Like quiche!
"Like quiche, Alanna?" I imagine you questioning. "When did quiche get fast and healthy?" And you are exactly right, a traditional pastry crust adds a time element and calorie addition that makes quiche too time-consuming and too rich for every day. This Crustless Quiche is excellent, but y'know, some times you miss having a quiche crust!
Enter the potato crust. It's healthy – and uses the potatoes which have been in the last two CSA deliveries!
I used a mandoline to cut thin-thin slices. But here's the thing. The potatoes taste really good, the edges are slightly crispy, like really good crispy hashed browns. And for Weight Watchers, the potato crust itself is just one Weight Watchers point compared to 4 or 5 points for a standard crust.
Plus the "liquid" in this quiche is unusual too, a mixture of milk and fresh sweet corn. It was quite lovely, slightly sweet, and my book-club taste testers all remarked on it.
So here's your everyday, healthy quiche. It's packed with vegetables, its crust is unusual and crispy. It's gonna be a great summer, I can tell.
RECIPE for FARMERS MARKET QUICHE with CRISPY POTATO CRUST
Time to table: 2 hours
Serves 8 (see ALANNA's TIPS)
2 - 3 medium potatoes, skins on, scrubbed well
1 tablespoon olive oil
About 8 cups uncooked vegetables, to yield about 6 cups cooked vegetables (see TIPS)
4 ears corn, kernels scraped from cobs and "milked" (How to Cut Corn Off the Cob, Keeping All Ten Fingers, Capturing Every Delicious Kernel and Every Drop of Sweet Corn 'Milk')
1 cup milk (see TIPS)
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheese, mozzarella, Gruyere, etc.
1 long, thin red pepper, cut into rings
Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly oil a deep-dish pie plate. (To keep things moving, you may want to start cooking the Filling before starting the crust.)
CRUST With a mandoline (see TIPS), slice potatoes quite thin and easily bendable, although not so much as to be translucent. Starting along the top edge, arrange potato slices in a single layer, overlapping a little, until the pie plate is completely covered. With a pastry brush, brush oil onto the slices. Repeat with a second layer and perhaps (see TIPS) a third layer, brushing each with oil. Bake for 15 minutes.
FILLING Saute the vegetables, be sure to salt to taste. (Can be made ahead of time, cover and refrigerate.)
LIQUID In a blender, blend corn kernels and milk for just a couple of seconds. With a slotted spoon, lift corn out of the blender into a bowl. (Why? I suggest lifting out the corn flesh, leaving the milk behind, so the corn will give texture to the quiche. If you'd prefer something smoother, just blend the corn, milk, eggs and seasoning together all at once.) Add eggs, salt and pepper to the remaining milk, blend until smooth. (Can be mixed ahead of time, cover and refrigerate.)
ASSEMBLY After par-baking the potato crust, arrange about half the cheese on the bottom. Arrange the Filling vegetables evenly in the crust. Give the Liquid a quick stir to re-distribute the corn, then pour over the top, pressing if needed to distribute throughout. Top with red pepper rings and remaining cheese.
BAKE Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let rest for 15 - 20 minutes before serving. Cut into slices and serve.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
For apples to apples comparisons, I use a "standard" of eight slices for a quiche or pie. But there were nine of us at my book club last week. Because the quiche is quite thick, these slices tasted quite generous, nothing skimpy about them at all.
This is the Benriner I have, for more information, see the How & Why to Use a Japanese Mandoline (Benriner). And, since someone will ask, I do think that it would be hard to cut the potatoes thin enough with a knife. If I tried this, I'd probably use a single layer of potatoes and parbake longer than 15 minutes.
Two layers of potato didn't quite stand upright in slices so next time I'll try three layers. I used a smooth-skinned waxy potato here and wouldn't recommend a "mealy" potato, that's a rough-skinned Idaho-style baking potato, they're just too crumbly. In the middle is something like a Yukon Gold potato, I think it would work fine.
For the filling, be sure to start with an onion of some sort, then a variety of mixed vegetables. This quiche, I used one leek, a pound of quite-thin asparagus, one large zucchini and kale. I cooked the kale separately, it took the longest to cook so next time I will use faster-cooking fresh spinach. You'll want the vegetable pieces to be quite small.
For milk, use any milk, skim, 2%, whole milk, even half & half or cream if you want richness. A can of evaporated milk also works really well in quiche. I used 3/4 cup skim and 1/4 cup whole milk.
My quiche broke apart a little in the center when slicing. It was fully cooked, but the corn, I think, just means the filling isn't as dense as an all-egg/milk and very cheesy filling.
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