Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Swiss Chard Quiche

Swiss chard is my new favorite vegetable. It cooks up delicately soft like spinach so that it can be used chopped fine in all kinds of Italian and Greek dishes (lasagna, ravioli filling, spanakopita…), it’s mild and thin enough to blend wonderfully into salads, in its rainbow versions it’s beautiful, it grows super easily in my garden, and my son likes it! So now I’m using it in droves in all kinds of places where I would have put in spinach (spinach is more of a cold-temp veggie, so it tends to be in short supply in midsummer, while swiss chard thrives in the heat and is all over farmers markets and CSA shares in August). The latest success is quiche, which in addition to being delicious and healthy in general can be made from totally local ingredients and most important to me can be served hot or cold and travels very well (in tupperware) on picnics!

Swiss Chard Quiche
Serves 4

Crust:

½ cup white flour (local flours now available at farmers’ markets and at Sherman Market)
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 stick cold butter
¼ cup ice-cold water

Mix flours together. Slice butter, then cut into flour using a pastry cutter or two knives in a criss-cross motion. Do not overmix. Once butter is pebble-sized, us flat hands and quickly rub it between your palms to finish mixing. Add ice water and quickly mix with fingertips. Flour a smooth dishtowel and dump dough onto the towel. Pull the towel together to make dough into a tight ball, then flatten into a disk using the palm of your hand. Open dishtowel and use a rolling pin to roll dough into a flat round that is ¼-1/2 inch wider than your pie or tart pan. Using the cloth, flip the dough into the pan, pull the cloth off the top, smooth the dough down, and fold over anything that hangs off the top to make a little raised ridge. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350.
Filling:

3 eggs
1 cup milk
8-12 oz grated cheese – a mix is best; this time I included cheddar, gouda, and cream cheese but really any mix works well.
2 bunches swiss chard
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
Cut the stems off of the swiss chard. Steam the swiss chard, then let it cool. Squeeze out all the water you possibly can. Chop it as finely as possible. While the swiss chard is cooling, beat the eggs then stir in all of the other ingredients. When the chard is ready, add it. Pour the filling into the crust. Bake for 45-55 minutes.