What’s for Dinner – Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

Often, when accosted by a head of floppy broccoli, I sentence the limp vegetable to a soupy demise, with delicious results. Broccoli cheddar soup is a wonderful way to use up less-than-stellar broccoli, or an excess of broccoli stems (for those of you who, like me, prefer to eat only the florets), but it’s nice to have other options. Enter the alternative user-upper of vegetables in their decline: quiche.
It’s an omelet in a pie – what’s not to love? You barely even need a recipe for a quiche! Just eggs, some cream (or milk), a frozen pie crust, and whatever you want to throw in. My basic recipe for a quiche is as easy as:

6 eggs
3/4 cup light cream, or milk (skim milk makes it watery, I’d stick to 2% or more)
1/2 cup or so of grated cheese (cheddar, swiss, monterey jack, whatever you’ve got)
1 cup or so of veggies
1/2 cup of ham or browned and crumbled sausage (optional), or a handful of bacon bits
One refrigerated or frozen pie crust, pre-baked

Bake the crust according to directions for a one-crust pie – mine needed 10 minutes at 425F. If you don’t have pie weights to keep the crust down, poking some holes in the bottom with a fork works pretty well to prevent the crust from bubbling up while it bakes.

Cut the veggies pretty small and pre-cook them either by sauteeing (good for mushrooms, onions, spinach, and peppers) or by steaming (best for broccoli). Whisk the eggs and cream together, then add in the other ingredients until you have a thick eggy soup, then pour it into your pre-baked pie shell. Easy as that. If you want to get fancy, you can keep some of the prettiest mushroom slices and arrange them in a pattern across the top, or use thin tomato slices. I never add any seasoning other than salt and pepper, because I like to taste just the egg and veggies. Note: if you’re using a salty meat in your quiche, don’t add salt!

Cooking time is a little fuzzy, because it will be different depending on how deep the pie plate is, and what kind of cream or milk you used (in my experience, thinner dairy makes a slightly longer cooking time). I usually start checking it at 25 minutes, and then poking it every 5 minutes thereafter until the middle part is set nicely. Nobody likes a runny quiche. Just poke a thin knife into the center of the pie and see if it feels closer to soup or quiche. when you hit quiche, it`s ready.

For the quiche I made, I used about a cup of steamed broccoli, chopped small, along with half an onion and half a package of white mushrooms, cooked in a pat of butter. I added some sharp cheddar cheese, and since I didn’t have any ham or bacon handy, I kept it meatless. Quiche is always an easy, cheap meal. Also, it’s not too far removed from the eternal favorite fun meal: breakfast-for-dinner.

Edited Feb 3 2013 to add cooking time. Thanks to Tasha for spotting that I missed it the first time around.

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