Olive and Leek Quiche

It’s always nice when someone volunteers to be your permanent food guinea pig. I usually get nervous cooking for people, but one of my friends, has no problems trying out my new recipes (he was the one who tried the experimental trifle) The only condition is no eggplant. So since I owed him a dinner anyways, it seemed logical to do both in one meal. Rather than do something completely new, I decided to err on the side of caution and make a variation on a recipe I’m fairly comfortable with – quiche.

olive quiche

Not enough filling for a deep pie dish…. oh well

Pastry Dough
1 cup flour
1/3 cup salted butter
some cold water

Put flour in a bowl and cut in the butter with a pastry cutter (or a fork if you don’t have one) until it is all incorporated, and the dough can almost clump together. Add the water, a little at a time, stirring it in with a knife and your hands until a nice dough has formed. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until the topping is done. Always make dough from scratch. My friend actually asked me if I was using store-bought dough or not … I was very nearly offended that he would even ask. Let the dough sit for a while (it lets the butter get all streaky and incorporated better). Then roll it out into a circle and line a pie plate with it.

The Filling:
2 medium leeks
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup frozen chopped spinach
2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
2 pinches dried thyme
8-10 kalamata olives, quartered
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
lemon zest (1/2 lemon)

Take the leeks and thinly slice the white parts. Saute the leeks and garlic for  a bit. Once soft, put them in a bowl and toss with some chopped spinach (I usually use the frozen stuff that I’v thawed in the microwave), the parsley, thyme, and olives. Let the mixture cool. In another bowl, beat the eggs, then add the milk and lemon zest.

Assembly: Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese on the bottom of the pie crust. Place the leek filling as an even layer on top of that. Pour the egg-milk mixture over the filling. Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes, or until cooked through and set. It should not wiggle at all when you move it.

The result was extremely good – a solid 8 1/2. I was surprised at just how lemon-zesty it was, since there was less than one lemon’s worth of zest in there.  It was, I think, the right level of olive-y though. Enough that it is a dominant flavor, but not so much that it qualifies as overpowering. The leeks really weren’t that flavorful. I’m not sure if its just cause leeks are fairly delicately flavored, or if it was just a function of the recipe. I think maybe caramelized onions might be a good substitution in the future. I had this with a Belgian IPA (my friend’s contribution to the meal) but I think it would pair best with white wine.

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