I’m a big fan of quiche. My Mom made it fairly often when I was a kid and I always liked it. It’s a multi-purpose dish. It’s great for brunch with a spicy Bloody Mary. It’s perfect on a buffet table as it can be served warm or room temperature. It nice for lunch with a small side salad. I’ve even served it for dinner with roasted potatoes and a hearty loaf of bread.
I find quiche to be particularly well-suited for the morning after a dinner party – make yourself a cup of coffee, sauté your left-over crudité, pour some eggs and cheese into a pie crust, watch a little Charles Osgood and in less than an hour you have a warm, comforting and uncomplicated breakfast.
My friend Cheri gave me the basis for this recipe many years ago. Legend has it this originated as a Cooking Light dish. I’ve managed to de-lighten it significantly with the inclusion of pancetta and whole milk, but skim milk works and you can also omit a couple egg yolks in favor of whites. Don’t be afraid to freestyle – try asparagus, mushrooms or whatever catches your eye at the farmers market. I’ve even added left-over chorizo, peppers and sweet potatoes. You’ll catch no flack from me if you opt for a store bought pie crust, but if you feel like making your own, Martha’s pâte brisée recipe could not be easier. Just remember to make it an hour or so in advance as the dough needs to set in the refrigerator for a bit.
Pancetta, Mozarella & Spinach Quiche
1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
4 oz pancetta, sliced
1 cup baby spinach (or as much as you’d like)
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
Salt and ground black pepper, pinches
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Roll-out dough and place in a 9-inch pie plate.
Over medium heat, sauté pancetta in olive oil until lightly crisp. Add shallot and cook until translucent. Add spinach and allow to wilt. Remove from heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cornstarch, salt and pepper.
Place the pancetta mixture into the pie crust and evenly distribute. Top with cheese. Pour in the egg mixture.
Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until the quiche is lightly brown on top and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow to stand for ten minutes before serving.