Cheesy Tomato Mixed Green Quiche with Hash Brown Crust
Quiche is one of our all-time favorites, & I love serving it for both Brunch & BFD…Breakfast for Dinner. Earlier this Spring, I was intrigued by a quiche recipe on Epicurious…an asparagus & two cheese quiche with a hash brown crust…I had to make it! Asparagus is not a favorite of mine in baked dishes of any sort, so I decided to experiment with different greens. After a couple of tries, I got the hang of the crust, and using duck fat is the secret to the perfectly browned, crispy crust. I used a mix of baby Spring greens & dried tomatoes…which are so easy to make…which soften when sautéed with shallots, and add nice concentrated tomato flavor that works nicely with the goat cheese & aged gouda. This is a wonderful gluten-free, vegetarian Spring quiche! Serve the quiche with Quick Spring Salad with Meyer Lemon-Olive Oil Splash, Brown Sugar Bacon, & Ham & Cheese Puff Pastry Pinwheels…a perfect Spring Brunch!
½ pound mixed greens (baby spinach, baby kale, swiss chard)
handful of parsley, rough chopped
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup heavy cream
¾ cup half & half
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ pound goat cheese
½ pound aged gouda
At least 2 hours before you plan to make the quiche, make the dried tomatoes: heat your oven to 200˚. Slice the tomatoes vertically in half, & place the sliced tomatoes, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Place the tomatoes in the oven for two hours or so, until the tomatoes are dried (a). Remove the baking sheet from the oven, & allow the tomatoes to cool enough to handle. Slice the tomatoes into small pieces & set aside.
In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, add the duck fat & melt it over medium-high heat. Swirl the pan to coat the entire surface with the fat. Dump the entire bag of hash browns into the skillet. Using a metal ½-cup measuring cup, spread out the hash browns, pressing the potatoes together along the bottom & the sides of the skillet (a). As the potatoes soften & cook, they will bind together & you will eventually form a nice, even crust (b). Allow the hash browns to continue cooking on the stove for another 15-20 minutes or so over medium to medium-high heat, until the potatoes begin to brown & smell like cooked potatoes. Sprinkle kosher salt over the hash brown crust to season. Once the crust has browned...you will be able to tell from the bottom & sides of the skillet...the hash browns will pull away from the pan slightly as they brown.
Preheat your oven to 400˚.
Rough chop the shallots. Pour a splash of the butter olive oil into a sauté pan. Sauté the shallots just until they begin to soften. Add the dried tomatoes, sautéing both until the shallots become translucent & the tomatoes soften.
Add the mixed greens & parsley to the sauté pan. Using tongs, toss the greens & parsley with the shallots & tomatoes just until the green wilt (a). Season with nutmeg, a sprinkle of salt & a few grinds of black pepper, then transfer the entire contents of the pan to the cast-iron skillet (b).
Break the eggs into a blender or Vitamix, then add the heavy cream, half & half, mustard, goat cheese & aged gouda. Blend till smooth, then pour into the cast-iron skillet.
Bake the quiche for 15 minutes at 400˚, then reduce the oven temperature to 350˚ & bake 15 minutes longer. Remove the quiche from the oven & allow to sit for 10-15 minutes before cutting into wedges & serving.
For the goat cheese, I used Capricho de Cabra, a wonderfully tangy Spanish goat cheese from Whole Foods Market. Robusto was the aged goat cheese, also from Whole Foods Market.
If you have picky eaters or do not have access to the above cheeses, you can use plain goat cheese & 1 8-ounce bag of 5-cheese Italian blend, found in most grocery stores.