Of all my repeated recipes, this quiche is one of my special favourites. I treat it as special occasion food – for bringing over to my grandmother’s, for serving when friends are visiting from out of town, for making when your brother’s meeting your boyfriend for the first time. I don’t eat it often – it’s not fast to put together and Gruyère isn’t cheap – but it is delicious. Sweet from the onions & balsamic, savoury from the herbs, and tangy from the cheese, it hits all the food groups in each delectable bite. This quiche is happy, hearty food.
I’ve been trying to start work by 7am lately, which is ambitious with an end-of-summer social calendar packed with welcome-home’s and see-you-soon’s. For these early morning breakfasts, I had been rocking massive bowls of oatmeal, and while that suited my sleepy slowness – its simmering & coziness, the easy mason-jarred toppings – we can all be honest about oatmeal: it is not exciting food. For this particularly busy week, I wanted a breakfast that would get me out of bed with my alarm – something that would wake me up just by the smell; something I loved. Thanks to a well-timed sale on both red bell peppers & Gruyère, I had all the ingredients for this quiche in the fridge. I made it on Monday to get me through this week, and there was even one slice left over for Dave – it smelled so good that he wanted some, dairy content be damned.
Notes: I’ve included Mollie Katzen’s quiche crust recipe, but any unbaked pie crust or frozen shell will work. An impatient morning earlier this summer (sorry Mimi!) taught me not to rush this quiche through baking or resting – if it doesn’t have time to set, it will slice sloppy & goopey. If you’re eating leftovers like I did, individual slices microwave perfectly; alternatively, you can place the whole pie plate in the oven to reheat the quiche in its entirety.
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups sliced onions
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dry mustard
1 unbaked quiche crust (see below)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 cup packed grated Gruyère cheese
3 large eggs
1/2-1 cup milk
freshly ground black pepper
1. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add salt, thyme, sage & mustard and stir to combine. Cover the pan and reduce heat to low; cook like this for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you’re making your quiche crust, do this while the onions are cooking.
2. Add vinegar & sliced bell pepper to the skillet. Return the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Fill the quiche crust with the grated cheese, and spoon the vegetables over top.
4. Use a whisk or fork to combine eggs, milk & black pepper. Pour it over the vegetables & cheese. Bake the quiche for 35-40 minutes at 375 degrees, or until the eggs are set. Allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing & serving.
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cold butter
up to 3 tbsp cold water, milk, or buttermilk
1. In a large bowl, use two knives to cut the butter into the flour and salt, until there are no pieces of butter left larger than a pea. (Alternatively, use a food processor until the mixture is uniform.)
2. Add water, 1 tbsp at a time, combining with the knives (or pulsing with the food processor) after each addition, until the dough sticks together when pinched. Remove dough to a lightly floured surface and form it into a ball.
3. With a floured rolling pin, roll into a rough circle about 11 inches in diameter. Transfer it to a pie plate or tart pan. *If you’re not using the dough right away, fold the rolled dough into a square, wrap rightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.