Before our car died, I bought a nice big bunch of Swiss chard. It’s a vegetable we don’t have often, but since I’m trying to inject some variety into our meals, I figured I’d find a way to use it. Last night I decided it would make a good subsitute for spinach in a quiche. I don’t make quiche often, either (read: once before) because the thought of making pastry always sends me into a slight panic. But I’m one of these people who doesn’t let go of an idea easily, so once I had quiche on my mind, quiche it had to be.
I used a couple of different recipes and combined them so that I could get pack in all the ingredients I wanted. The wonderful thing about a quiche (besides the lovely aroma and comfort-food factor) is that it’s actually balanced in the sense that you can get all four food groups into it. Of course, it’s not very balanced in terms of the proportions of the food groups, but hey, you can’t worry about that every day, right?
It took a little longer to bake than I anticipated (probably because the cheese I put in was frozen — I always like to keep some shredded cheese in the freezer). Also, I was worried that the whole thing was going to be pink (pink eggs!) because the colour from the chard stems was bleeding into everything when I first put it in the oven. But in the end it came out pretty as a picture, and really tasty, too.
As you can see, I was trying to create a more balanced meal by adding salad, but I was too lazy to dress up the greens with any other contrasting colours (or any other ingredients, for that matter). But it was so tasty with the dill dressing, it didn’t really need anything else.
We had to tell Jade that the egg was chicken (well, it is, isn’t it?) and after that everyone enjoyed supper.
Swiss Chard Quiche
Makes 4-6 servings, depending on the hungriness of the crowd and whatever extras you’re serving with it.
1 pastry crust (yer on yer own for this, or the post would get too long!)
4-5 slices bacon, cooked and then cut into small pieces (or crumbled)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 bunch swiss chard (or other greens), chopped, about 4 cups
dash onion powder
3 beaten eggs
1-1/2 cups milk
1/4 tsp salt
dash ground nutmeg
1 cup shredded cheese (I used mozzarella)
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- Prepare your pastry (you can use ready-made) by pricking all over with a fork, lining the uncooked pastry with a double-thickness of foil and baking in a 450° F oven for 8 minutes. Remove foil and bake 4-5 minutes more, until pastry is set and dry. Remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 325° F.
- Meanwhile, cook up your bacon until your desired doneness. Remove the bacon and let it drain on some paper towels, then cook the onion in the bacon drippings until clear but not brown. Drain.
- Cook the chard in a large skillet until just wilted. I cooked up the whole bunch of chard and then used about half of it in the quiche, saving the rest for another meal. Sprinkle with a little onion powder and salt and pepper to taste. (This was really just so that the leftover chard would have some flavour.)
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together eggs, milk, salt, and nutmeg. Stir in the crumbled bacon and onion. Toss together shredded cheese and flour. Add to egg mixture. Add in as much chard as you think your pastry shell will hold.
- Pour filling into the hot, baked pastry shell. Cover the edge of crust with foil to prevent overbrowning. (Take one of the pieces of foil you used to line the crust, fold into quarters, and then use scissors to cut out the folded corner to get a nice round mask.) Bake in the 325° F oven for 35 to 40 minutes (I turned it up to 400° F for the last 10 minutes, since it was going so slowly with that frozen cheese) until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving (if you can wait that long! It helps the filling stay together when you cut into it.)