Today is Labor Day here in the U.S. As it’s a national holiday, government agencies are closed today and many people are enjoying a three-day weekend. Labor Day also unofficially marks the end of summer in my mind, because of the “don’t wear white after Labor Day” rule that killed my summer buzz for years but has supposedly now been done away with (who has the power to do away with such rules, anyway?). However, in New York, it’s still unseasonably warm here, with temperatures in the mid- to high- 80s all weekend. So I’ll celebrate summer for just a little longer…
Today I have a recipe for a light and summery quiche. I have always been a big fan of quiche. To me, it is the epitome of light and healthy cooking. It is also incredibly versatile as you can add in many different seasonings, veggies, meats, and cheeses. I think I first fell in love with quiche when my mom made a version similar to this recipe. I had never tasted leeks before but the flavor of soft yet lightly crunchy leeks in a creamy, cheesy egg suspension with a savory whole wheat crust was very addictive. At my birthday celebration last year, I asked her to make this quiche for dinner. I decided to recreate the quiche recipe myself, adding some of my favorite ingredients, such as feta cheese and spinach to get some of those healthy greens into my diet. Since kale is currently having a “moment” due to its many benefits, you can also use that instead of spinach. Mushrooms are also optional, but add a nice texture and additional health benefits to the dish.
This recipe uses very common ingredients and simple spices and only takes about 60-70 minutes to prepare including (40-50 minutes) cooking time. It makes the perfect brunch or light dinner meal and can be accompanied by some sweet potato wedges, roasted veggies, or beans & legumes.
9-inch pie crust
- 1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3-5 tablespoons ice water
- dash of Salt and ground black pepper
- 2 large leeks, cleaned, trimmed, and sliced lengthwise and crosswise
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of 1% low-fat or non-fat milk
- 2 tbsp. chopped green onions
- 1-2 cups cooked kale or spinach (boiled for 2-3 minutes)
- optimal: 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/4-1/3 cup feta cheese crumbled plus 2 tbsp. more for topping
- 3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- Dash of oregano
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in water and olive oil. Combine ingredients thoroughly until dough forms. Press into a 9” pie dish and bake for 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
- Add spinach (kale) to a pot of boiling water and cook until wilted and softened, 2-3 minutes. Drain spinach (kale), squeezing out water as much as possible.
- In a large bowl, whisk together spinach, green onions, eggs, milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and half of the crumbled cheese.
- Sauté leeks adding salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a pan on medium heat until transparent and just cooked through.
- Spread leeks in bottom of crust and sprinkle with the other half of the crumbled cheese. Pour egg mixture over the top. Top with 2 tbsp. feta cheese crumbles. Bake at 375°F until it has risen in the center and is firm to the touch and lightly browned on top; for 40-50 minutes. Let it cool at room temperature until warm. Can be served warm or cold. This pie also freezes well and can be re-heated.