Sunday, May 13, 2012

Spinach and Shiitake Quiche

Cooking brunch for Mom today? If you don't have a plan yet, this recipe may be for you. This vegetarian quiche is rich and cheesy enough to feel decadent, but light enough not to require a nap afterwards (although you may need one anyway if you had a mimosa or two). Although quiches are typically thought of as fatty, opulent dishes, they can also be a great way to get a healthy portion of vegetables into your meal. A generous amount of spinach mingles with a web of gooey cheese, punctuated by a layer of umami-packed shiitakes. Shiitake mushrooms are a bit on the expensive side, but it only takes a small amount to infuse this entire quiche with a supreme savoriness. If you do need to add some meat to please the carnivores in your life, crumbled cooked bacon would definitely be a welcome addition. Like frittatas, quiches are wonderfully versatile, welcome at any meal, and the perfect way to treat Mom on her special day.

Spinach and Shiitake Quiche
adapted from Whole Foods
serves 4 to 6 as a main dish, 8 as part of a larger spread

1 frozen 9-inch ready-made whole wheat piecrust
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms
8 ounces fresh spinach, washed, dried and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup milk
2 large eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove piecrust from the freezer and thaw for ten minutes. Prick the bottom with a fork and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove crust from the oven to cool.

2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender, about 7 minutes. Remove to a plate to cool.

3. Add remaining olive oil to sauté pan. Add spinach by handfuls and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until spinach is wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. In a small bowl, mix mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. In another bowl, whisk milk and eggs together.
5. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture on the crust. Top with half of the spinach.
Place mushrooms on top of spinach. Add half remaining cheese mixture and then remaining spinach. Top with remaining cheese.

6. Place the pie pan on a sheet pan. Carefully pour in milk mixture. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool slightly before cutting.

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