When my childhood best friend Jeni got married ten years ago, my mom and I threw her a shower in our house. I still remember the menu. Probably because I wrote it down in my Dinner Diary but also because it was so perfect if I do say so myself! There was a baked goods and pastry spread, a smoked salmon and bagels station, and my mom and I each baked a quiche — one vegetarian and one classic ham and gruyere. I hadn’t ever made one before and couldn’t believe how simple it was (totally back-pocket-worthy). The only problem I had was with the frozen pie crust I bought. It came in one of those ugly aluminum pie plates so I attempted to transfer it to a prettier, more shower-appropriate one…and ended up cracking the dough. So I smushed the crust into a ball, spread it out again with a rolling pin, and placed it in my nice dish. Later, when Jeni’s mom (who also happens to be Rosa, one of my kitchen heroes) was deciding which quiche to eat, she pointed to mine and said “You know that one is going to be better because the crust is homemade.” I laughed a little uneasily — but because she was one of my kitchen heroes, and because I was secretly proud that my crust did indeed look all artisanal and rustic, I didn’t confess to my crime. And I’m embarrassed to admit that in the decade since, I have become a repeat offender.
Basic Back-Pocket Quiche
You can pretty much swap out the feta and chard here for any combination of cheese and vegetable that appeals to you. Just make sure whatever veg you choose is chopped.
1 storebought pie crust, pressed into a pie dish
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup half-and-half or cream
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 onion, sliced and sauteed in olive oil, 3-5 minutes until soft
1 bunch kale or chard (washed, chopped, and sauteed in garlic and olive oil)
1 zucchini, shredded
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F. Prick the bottom of your pie crust with a fork and pre-bake it for 8 minutes. While it’s baking, whisk together milk, half-and-half, eggs, and some pepper. Remove the pie crust and sprinkle the cheese, onions, and half the vegetables on the bottom. Pour most of the egg mixture on top, then add the remaining vegetables, stirring gently so they are partially immersed in the egg mixture. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top hasn’t turned that appealingly golden brown color, broil for a few minutes at the very end.