Well, the quinoa salad was a hit at the garden party. I think. At least the bowl ended up empty, which is great because my refrigerator is stuffed with greens and with leftovers. One thing I realized today: I can keep up with making a dish every day (maybe) but usually there are also leftovers, too. My husband was heading out the door to work out today and mentioned that he might "grab something for lunch" and I told him that really, that might not be okay today -- or for the rest of the summer. We have too much at home that needs to be consumed. Note to self: Start a list of leftovers on the fridge so we remember what's in there.
Another great result of the garden party: I told my neighbor Ray that I wasn't sure about the big bag of greens from the CSA that I thought might be spinach but that didn't look at all like the stuff I usually buy, which comes in a bag -- prewashed even. Ray, an avid gardener, assured me that the spinach he grows looks like what I was describing to him. Big green leaves with unusual shapes and a puffy texture. Not dark, glossy, slick and small leaves like the bag spinach.
I decided that even if what I had wasn't spinach, I was going to look for a spinach recipe. I know you can just have a spinach salad, of course, but I already had another bag of mixed greens that would be good for salad. And then I remembered that I also had the CSA eggs -- 6 of them, in a range of sizes and colors. I think one of them might even be a duck egg. It's ginormous.
So a quiche sounded good. Plus, I already had a pre-made deep dish pie shell in the freezer. I looked through my handy Everyday Food index and voila -- a quiche and spinach recipe. How I miss Everyday Food. If you don't know what it was, it was a Prevention-sized monthly magazine put out by Martha Stewart, which apparently wasn't adding enough of a boost to her revenue because it folded. I was kind of mad when that happened but then I realized I own all the issues from 2005 to 2012, and it's not exactly like I've made everything in them already.
Martha's recipe calls for half and half, and normally I might try to sub that out for something. But it was beautiful morning and I rode my new bike 15 miles and felt like I deserved a treat. Of course, Martha's recipe also calls for a homemade pie dough. Ha! So. Not. Happening. Here's my adapted version, which was delicious and prompted my husband to remark that we have never before eaten this well.
SPINACH AND GRUYERE QUICHE
1 tablespoon butter
1 shallot, chopped
Half a big bag of CSA "spinach" (about 20 or so leaves, maybe more, torn into pieces)
Sea salt and ground pepper
4 ounces (1 cup) shredded Gruyere (note: Buy it shredded at Wegmans!)
Frozen deep dish pie crust
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Note: You may want to put your quiche on a lower rack; mine was in the middle of the oven and browned up a little more than I might have preferred.)
2. Melt butter in a large skillet set over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook for about 2 minutes. Add spinach so it covers the whole pan. As spinach wilts, add salt and pepper and additional leaves if you want. Cook the spinach for about 3 minutes.
3. Put spinach/shallots in a colander and use a spoon to press the mixture and expel extra liquid. Put the spinach in the bottom of the pie crust. It should cover the bottom.
4. Put the cheese on top of the spinach.
5. In a bowl, whisk eggs, half and half, nutmeg and salt and pepper. (Martha says a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 of pepper, but I like a little less. On the other hand, I bumped up the nutmeg.) Pour the mixture into the crust.
6. Put the quiche on a baking sheet and cook for 55 to 60 minutes. Let set for 15 minutes before serving.
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