My husband and I have had this weird argument going on for years. By this point, I’m not even sure how it started, but it still comes up from time to time. He won’t eat quiche.
Now, he argues that he WOULD eat quiche, it’s just that there are an insurmountable number of foods he would RATHER eat than quiche. Since that number counts almost every non-quiche food in the world (or at least all other menu items at any given establishment), I would consider that not eating quiche.
…. until now. And all because of beet greens.
Yes, he who likes neither vegetables nor quiche ate a quiche full of vegetables. He doesn’t have a fever or anything.
Beet greens are really good for you. We’ve gotten beets (with attached greens) in both CSA boxes so far. When I experimented with them they were good, but they didn’t blow my mind.
This quiche totally did.
It was onion, a touch of garlic, the beet greens, and my secret umami weapon: shiitake mushrooms. A little mozzarella cheese (the only stuff I had in the fridge), a bit of grated Parmesan to top it off, two eggs, another pÃ¢te brisÃ©e from Julia Child and I was in heaven. Seriously.
Ready for a ridiculous amount of photos? I hope so. Here goes:
You can use fresh shiitake mushrooms (which, by the way, my Japanese host mother HATES), but I just buy them dried at the Asian supermarket where they are a fraction of the price. If they’re dried, you’ll have to soak them first, so cover them in warm water and let stand about 20 minutes. They may not be pretty, but they’re delicious (sorry, Angela).
Once they’re nice and plump, squeeze them so they aren’t soggy and chop them up. I always reserve the soaking liquid for veggie stock or to use in other dishes.
While they’re soaking, that’s just about the right amount of time to prep everything else. We’ll need a partially-cooked pastry shell, an onion (chopped), a clove of garlic (minced), and our beet greens (which I like to roll and cut into ribbons). Toss the onions in a pan of hot olive oil and let them get good and brown over fairly low heat. Here is a nice color progression:
This should take 20-30 minutes. You can even go longer, but I was hungry.
Stir in the garlic and mushrooms, then toss in the beet greens. It looks like a huge pile, but they’ll cook down, I promise. See?
There we go. Remove the pan from heat to let it cool a bit.
While that’s happening, break two eggs into a bowl, stir them up, and add a splash of milk, half-and-half, or cream depending on how rich you want it and how guilty you’ll feel considering that there is already a whole stick of butter in the crust (I used half-and-half). Toss about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of shredded mozzarella cheese and stir to combine. Your veggies should be cool enough to mix in, so start adding those to the egg mixture a few tablespoons at a time.
I didn’t add any salt. Beet greens actually have some sodium in them; combined with the cheese, it was plenty for me. Black pepper, on the other hand, definitely got stirred in.
Pour the filling in the tart shell and smooth to ensure you don’t have a veggie mountain in the center. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup of cheese on top, then grate a generous dusting of Parmesan on top of that. Yum.
Bake in the top third of the oven at 400F for 15-20 minutes until center is set and top is golden.
Cool slightly and serve warm. Add a nice side salad to distract you from having seconds. Did I mention the whole stick of butter in the tart shell?
Quiche with Beet Greens
Makes 4 servings
8-inch tart shell, partially baked
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced shiitake mushrooms
2 cups chopped beet greens
2 large eggs
2-3 tablespoons milk, half-and-half, or cream
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
black pepper, to taste
1.) Heat olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium-low heat. Add onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until deep yellow-brown. Preheat oven to 400F.
2.) Add garlic and mushrooms. Saute for a minute. Add beet greens and saute, stirring often so they wilt evenly. If the greens are sticking to the pan, add a tablespoon or two of water (or wine) to deglaze. Remove pan from heat.
3.) Break eggs into a mixing bowl and beat lightly. Add milk and whisk together. Add black pepper and cheese. A few tablespoons at a time, fold beet green mixture in to eggs until combined.
4.) Pour filling into prepared tart shell and smooth to ensure even cooking. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
5.) Bake in the upper third of the oven for 15-20 minutes until top is golden and center has set. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.