Monday, February 8, 2010

Using frozen vegetables

A few years ago I began to read that if fresh vegetables were not available, frozen was the next best choice, nutritionally speaking. If frozen soon after harvest, then a vegetable will retain its nutritional properties. As opposed to canned vegetables, the frozen ones aren’t cooked and treated with additional salt and other ingredients that can add calories and alter taste.

The frozen vegetables, of course, cook up much differently than fresh. I find them to be most useful in soups, casseroles, stir fries and quiche. So yesterday I pulled out some frozen broccoli, re-hydrated tomatoes and made a broccoli quiche.

I became a quiche fan in the mid-1980s when I was living in New York City on a small salary and working for a magazine located in a skyscraper at 44th and Broadway. Many of the surrounding restaurants were too expensive for my budget, but there was a small place around the corner that offered quiche with soup or a sandwich. So I developed a taste for this filling dish. When I moved to another job at 23rd and Park Ave., I said goodbye to my favorite lunch spot and learned to make the quiche myself.

Here’s the basic recipe I use. It results in a hearty quiche rather than an airy, eggy dish. Keep in mind you can alter the types of vegetables and cheeses to your taste. Yesterday, instead of using all feta I cleaned out the cheese drawer and used a combination of feta, asiago and mozzarella.

Broccoli Quiche

Partially baked pie crust
Dijon mustard
½ C chopped onions
1 garlic clove
2 TBSP butter
2 C broccoli, thawed
½ C re-hydrated sun-dried tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg
¾ C cottage cheese
¾ C feta or other cheese
3 eggs
¼ C milk

Bake the pie crust for about 10 minutes. Brush with Dijon.

Sautee onions in butter, add garlic and broccoli. Season with salt and pepper. Add nutmeg. Stir in re-hydrated tomatoes. Remove from heat.

In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add cheeses and milk (can use heavy whipping cream instead). Add cheese mixture to vegetables. Pour into pie shell and top with cheese and small pats of butter. Bake about 25 minutes.

What’s your favorite quiche filling?

1 comment:

  1. My favorite quiche recipe is from Julie Jordan's WINGS OF LIFE. I've used it for 35 years. I love that vegetarian cookbook-it's as fun to read as it is to cook from. Her recipe is so simple--make your quiche in 3 layers--first a layer of stir-fried veggies on your unbaked crust(make sure they are drained and not soupy--my note). Then a layer of grated cheese (at least a cup-cover the veggies). Then the custard which is 2 eggs lightly beaten, 1 cup milk, and 1/2 t. salt. Add any herbs you want. Bake at 350 for 45-50 min. You can turn of the oven after 40 min. and let it finish cooking until you are ready to serve. Yummy!