Saturday, July 9, 2016

Spinach and Feta Quiche

This tastes great when it's hot out of the oven, even better the second day.

Step 1:  Prepare the shortbread crust.

 Preheat oven to 325°F.  While the oven is heating, combine in a bowl:
  • 2 cups unbleached white flour (or a mixture of white, whole wheat and/or multigrain flour
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • Cold water as required
If the butter is hard, microwave it for about 15 seconds. Cut into the flour with your hands or a pastry-blending tool, and add water a bit at a time till you have a dough that's just starting to hold together (it'll be a bit crumbly, but that's okay).

Press the dough into an ungreased pie pan, lining the pan to just below the rim. With a fork, poke  some holes in the bottom of the crust so that steam can escape. Put in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Step 2:  Prepare the filling.

In a pot or frying pan, heat:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, virgin or extra-virgin
When the oil is hot, add:
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, thoroughly washed (baby spinach works great here).

Toss around in the hot oil till the spinach is just starting to wilt.  Remove from heat and pour off excess liquid.

In the same bowl that you used for the pastry shell, combine:
  • 1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled
  • 5 large eggs 
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced fine
  • At least 1/2 teaspoon oregano, fresh or dried 
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Optional spices:  Dill, minced onions, basil.  Because of the saltiness of the feta cheese, we don't recommend using garlic salt, onion salt or any other salt-based seasoning in this recipe.

By this time, the sautéed spinach has cooled a bit.  Add it to the mixture of cheese, eggs and spices, and mix thoroughly.

The pie crust should also be ready by now. Pour the mixture into the partially baked shell and return to the oven.

Bake for at least 35 minutes.  Be aware that it can take 45 minutes or even longer, depending on your oven. Do not underbake!  When the pie is ready, the center will be quite firm to the touch and a very, very pretty shade of green on top.

You can serve this immediately, but it'll cut more easily if you let it cool for a few minutes.

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