Normally I wouldn’t turn to any food in particular for comfort. The term “comfort food” to me means wintry or warming, not something that I would literally need to eat in trying times. I do like to eat—or pig-out—when I’m down and out, but in those times I’m not picky and will eat just about anything. When I have the blues, a good strawberry is just as comforting as a bowl of chowder or a chocolate bar, usually.
I say usually because it turns out I do have a comfort food. Quiche. We made a quiche last weekend and the buttery crust and custardy filling was so delicious and comforting that I was eager to have another after my accident this week. Thankfully, Jim knew this without my even mentioning it, and promptly made me a bacon, mushroom, and Gruyere quiche Wednesday night. It was delicious and cheesy; the bacon bits peppered throughout the quiche were heavenly.
But you’ll have to take my word for it since I didn’t photograph it—I haven’t gotten off the couch since Tuesday—and don’t have the exact recipe. I will, however, give you the recipe for our first quiche—a broccoli and smoked provolone wonder. This one is verdant and light. It was actually my favorite, though Jim thought it a bit too light, not a man’s quiche. Maybe it’s not a dinner on it’s own, but it’s certainly a hearty lunch or side accompaniment.
Making quiche is very easy, especially if you are lazy like me and buy the pre-made frozen crust (in my defense, they have a fabulous brand of pie crusts at Whole Foods). There are a few steps to remember—like pre-baking the crust and cooking the vegetables to tenderness before adding to the quiche—but past that, it’s one of the quickest, most satisfying dishes you can whip up on a weekday.
Once you have the method for a basic quiche down, the substitution possibilities are endless. I loved the smoked provolone with the broccoli, but would like to add bacon to it next time. I’m also thinking about trying a sun-dried tomato and anchovy one soon, or maybe a Spanish chorizo and hominy one, or maybe…. well, I’ll leave that to future posts.
Broccoli and Smoked Provolone Quiche
serves 2 hungry people with some leftovers//adapted from The Good Egg
- 1 9-in pie crust
- 3 cups broccoli florets, chopped
- 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 3 large eggs (farm-fresh if available)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 generous cup grated smoked provolone cheese (between 4 and 5 oz.)
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375°. To prebake the piecrust—cover pie crust with tin foil, lightly pressing down to mold onto the sides and bottom of crust. Place beans, rice, or baking weights on foil to cover bottom of crust (so that the crust won’t puff up during the prebake.) Bake in oven for 25 minutes. Uncover, discarding foil and beans. Prick any air bubbles and then bake crust for 5 more minutes in oven.
Meanwhile, in a skillet coated with olive oil, saute onion, pepper flakes, and garlic over medium-low heat until onions are beginning to brown. Steam broccoli in steamer basket or double broiler until almost-tender. Transfer broccoli to onion skillet and saute for a few more minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
To assemble quiche—pour onion-broccoli mixture into bottom of pie crust. Top that with the grated cheese. Pour egg mixture over, making sure to spread evenly. Season with more salt and pepper if desired and transfer to oven. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and serve.