Monday, April 22, 2013

Meatless Monday: Tomato and Feta Quiche

This is pseudo-quiche because it doesn't have a pastry crust. People are intimidated by pastry crusts so I've replaced the pastry with a cracker crumb crust. It works really well - the dry crackers absorb the liquid in the filling and act a lot like a pastry crust. Surprisingly, even if the crumbs don't tightly cover the bottom, they will expand to give you a dense crust. It's kind of magical! It's also a great way to use up some crackers languishing in your cupboards.

Feel free to experiment with the fillings. Use a different cheese (about 1 ½ cups shredded cheese). Substitute leftover veggies for the tomatoes. Like omelets, quiches are a great way to repurpose leftovers.

Tomato and Feta Quiche
(serves 4-6, costs $7)

1 ½ cups crushed cracker crumbs (saltines, matzoh, wheat)
6 Tablespoons melted butter
½ teaspoon salt, if crackers are unsalted
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
2 tomatoes, sliced or 2 big handfuls of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
4 eggs
1 ½ cups milk (whole or 2%)
3 Tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil or dill

Preheat oven to 350 F°. Spray a 9" pie plate generously with non-stick cooking spray (or butter well with butter or margarine). Put the cracker crumbs in a large bowl. Pour on the melted butter and sprinkle with the salt, if using unsalted crackers. Mix well - your hands are the best tool here. Pour the crumbs into the pie plate and distribute them evenly on the bottom and up the sides. It's going to be more rustic than a pastry shell.

In the same bowl that you mixed the crust, beat the eggs. Add the milk, flour, salt, pepper, and herbs. Beat well to combine.

Place the pie plate on a cookie sheet (this makes it easier to get the quiche in and out of the oven and if there is any spillage while it bakes, your oven isn't a mess). Distribute the cheese over the bottom of the quiche. Lay the tomatoes evenly over the cheese. Slowly pour on the egg mixture. Place the quiche in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, until the filling is set and doesn't jiggle when you gently shake the pan.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

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