How do you make a quiche without a crust?
Last Friday I’d cycled to Daniel’s farm and brought home an immense bunch of spinach. It was much more than I needed but couldn’t resist—it was intensely green, with saucer-sized leaves, and it just oozed health and vitamins.
I pulled out the ingredients: cheese, eggs, milk, onion, garlic, seasonings, and spinach. I didn’t have pie dough but I did have those huge leaves of spinach.
Before I’d come to France, I’d read a recipe in French Women Don’t Get Fat for a quiche that uses cabbage leaves instead of pastry.
Inspired, I turned on the oven, pulled out a shallow quiche pan, and carefully laid leaves of spinach over the bottom of the pan, being sure to lay some leaves over the edges of the page to form part of the “crust.” Knowing the spinach would wilt and flatten out in the heat, I added extra leaves in the middle.
I slid the pie pan into the oven for a couple of minutes while I grated the cheese and sliced the onions.
I pulled the pan out, laid a few more leaves down, and put it back in the oven for just another minute or two.
I pulled out the “crust” again and prepared the quiche my usual way: lay the onion slices in an even layer over the bottom, and then the grated cheese. In a bowl I added the milk and seasonings to the eggs, beat them, and then poured the egg mixture into the pan.
The egg didn’t fill in the “crust” as neatly as I’d expected and some of it completely disappeared. With ignorance and trust, I slid the pie plate into a hot, 190°C oven and kept an eye on it.
After about 30 minutes, the eggs finally started to puff up and look like a quiche. I tested it—an inserted knife pulled out clean—and slid the quiche out to cool and settle.
Twenty minutes later, I used that same knife to carve a wedge of quiche.
Sure enough, the spinach crust lifted neatly from the pan and I had a perfect slice of spinach-crust quiche to savour with my lunch coffee.