Spinach Quiche with Red Pepper & Feta ♥

Spinach Quiche with Red Pepper & Feta, another classic spinach recipe ♥ AVeggieVenture.com, creamy custard packed with fresh or frozen spinach in a homemade or refrigerated crust. Budget Friendly. Company Worthy.
How to make a simple spinach quiche with pretty red slices of red bell pepper and a surprising bite of feta that pairs so well with slightly bitter spinach greens and creamy custard. Brunch? Lunch? Supper? All of the above.

Real Food, Fresh & Casual. Year-Round Comfort Food Plus Red & Green for Holiday Brunch. Home Kitchen Easy, Company Worthy. Budget Friendly. Easy to Make Ahead, Great for Meal Prep. Vegetarian.


What's for Dinner?

Isn't it just a wonderment when the gods of supper serendipity strike: (1) dinner needs deciding and (2) a perfectly appealing something shows up online from a favorite source and (3) aha! all the ingredients are already on hand ... including a disk of pastry, to boot. So all of two minutes passed between a simple spinach quiche recipe popping up and me heading to the kitchen. And ...

It's delicious! This is a keeper!

But Do Impromptu Recipes Survive the Test of Time?

Some times a recipe is perfect for the moment but never again seems quite right. Like so many classic recipes, Spinach Quiche belongs on the keeper list. When I recently remade it for a photo update, my husband started off with a big slice then went back for another even larger slice. Luckily there was enough leftover for breakfast the next day! In my kitchen, Spinach Quiche earns a spot in the 3x5 recipe box reserved for my most relied-upon recipes.

Let's Talk Homemade Crusts

Why don't we make quiche more often? It's the crust, right?

For the record, I started making pastry when I was 16 and for a lot of years, made one tender crust after another. Then a couple of years ago, I lost the knack and turned out one tough crust after another.

And no, those weren't the boxed crusts. The boxed crusts started to taste pretty good!) Whew! I'm finally creating good pastry again, thanks in part to re-incorporating Crisco or lard and adopting a few Alton Brown techniques.

The homemade pastry recipe below turns out a crust that's tender and flavorful and hard to resist! It includes a bit of semolina which both adds gluten and a thin understory of crunch that's appealing in savory dishes and I suspect, some fruity pies like apple.

What's semolina? It's a more coarsely ground wheat flour and is often used in pasta. I've successfully used farina (aka Cream of Wheat) as a substitute but it doesn't impart the same nuttiness.

UPDATE A year later, I got my pie-crust mojo back for good, see Flaky Tender Pie Crust and the step-by-step photos and tips in How to Make Flaky Tender Pie Crust.

But Here's a Trick to Improve a Refrigerated Pie Crust.

But if you're short on time or aren't interested in making pastry, here's the good news. I really do recommend the Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts. You can use them as is. Or better yet, roll them out to be thinner, put the pastry into the pie tin and cut away the excess before crimping the edge. You'll save a few calories and the crust won't be quite so well, crusty. If you have semolina on hand, maybe try rolling it in semolina, to impart a bit of that special nutty flavor. UPDATE I despise the refrigerated crusts from Trader Joe's, yuck.

Spinach Quiche with Red Pepper & Feta, another classic spinach recipe ♥ AVeggieVenture.com, creamy custard packed with fresh or frozen spinach in a homemade or refrigerated crust. Budget Friendly. Company Worthy.





RECIPE for SPINACH & FETA QUICHE

Hands-on time: 30 minutes for pastry + 25 minutes for filling
Time to table: 2 hours
Serves 10

You'll need an unbaked pie crust. This homemade crust is worth the effort, the dough is easy to work with and makes for a lovely, flaky crust. But if you like, substitute a commercial crust. Just roll it a little thinner and discard the excess.

HOMEMADE CRUST
1-1/4 cups (156g) flour
1-1/2 tablespoons (18g) semolina, optional but nice
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1-1/2 tablespoons (18g) Crisco, cut into small chunks
3 tablespoons (42g) cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
Another 3 tablespoons (42g) cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
A glass of ice water
Additional flour, for rolling the crust

SPINACH
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, diced small
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
10 ounces (283g) fresh spinach or frozen spinach, thawed
Generous salt & pepper

TART ASSEMBLY
Chilled crust
3 ounces (85g) crumbled feta
Cooked Spinach
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (115g) whole milk (or half & half)
1/2 cup (136) heavy cream (or half & half)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Pepper to taste

REFRIGERATED CRUST Let warm according to package instructions, this can (but doesn't always) prevent cracking. Spread the crust on a lightly floured surface. Working from the center out, use a rolling pin to thin the crust. Drape the crust over a ten-inch quiche pan (a shallow pie pan will also work). With a knife or scissors, cut off the excess crust, leaving enough to fold over an edge. Gently crimp the edge with your fingers, forming a decorative edge. Refrigerate until ready to bake.

HOMEMADE CRUST In a food processor, pulse the flour, semolina and salt until well mixed. Distribute the Crisco chunks and 3 tablespoons of butter cubes over top of the flour and pulse 2 or 3 times until small crumbs form. Distribute the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter cubes over top and pulse 2 or 3 times until coarse chunks form.

Don't skip this step, it prevents overworking the dough. Transfer the flour-butter mixture to a wide working bowl, spreading it across the bottom of the bowl. Drizzle 1 tablespoon ice water all across the flour, then use a large meat fork to toss the flour and water together. Repeat the drizzle-then-toss action 4 or 5 times, targeting dry crumbs at the bottom of the bowl as the the flour absorbs the moisture. Use as little water as possible, just enough so that you can gather up the dough to form a ball, then pressed to a disk that holds together.

If you like, wrap the disc in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to a day. But if you like, the dough can be rolled out right away and then chilled: this is nearly always my preference, gotta keep movin'!

Generously sprinkle a work surface with flour. Working quickly, use a floured rolling pin to roll out the pastry, working from the center out and turning the pastry a bit after each roll. (I usually turn it over once or twice as well.) When it's the right thickness, fold in half and then again, this makes it easier to lift into the pan. Transfer to a lightly greased quiche pan, letting the edges hang over the sides. Trim and patch the pastry if needed. Fold the pastry over itself, then pinch the edge between to form a fluted edge. Refrigerate the crust for 30 minutes or tuck into the freezer for about 15 minutes.

OVEN PREP If you're making the quiche right away, heat the oven to 375F/190C. To promote browning the crust from below, put a baking stone on the bottom of the oven or even on the bottom rack. No baking stone? Put a baking sheet upside down on the bottom rack. Later, you'll put the quiche either on the bottom rack (with a baking stone on the oven floor below) or on the bottom rack (with a baking stone right underneath) or right on top of the upside-down baking sheet.

SPINACH In a large skillet, melt the butter until shimmery on medium high. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and red pepper, sauté until beginning to soften but not brown. Add the parsley, garlic and marjoram and cook for a minute or two. A handful at a time, add the spinach, letting it cook down a bit before adding more. If using frozen spinach, be sure to actually cook the spinach, it takes longer than fresh spinach. If the mixture is wet, push the spinach to the sides of the skillet and press it to expel excess liquid into the center of the skillet, let this cook off. Season to taste, do taste the mixture, especially for salt.

TART ASSEMBLY Spread the feta on the bottom of the Chilled Crust. Gently arrange the spinach mixture over top. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream (or half 'n' half) and salt and pepper, then gently pour over the spinach. If needed, redistribute the spinach a little.

BAKE Bake at 375F/ 190C for 40 - 45 minutes or until the center is set. Let rest for 5 - 10 minutes before cutting to serve.

MAKE-AHEAD #1 What an easy quiche to make ahead! The trick is to make the components ahead of time but to keep them separate until right before baking. Here, that means preparing the crust and cooking the spinach ahead of time. You could even pre-mix the egg-milk mixture and crumble the feta. Keep these in the fridge for up to a day. Then heat up the oven, assemble the quiche and bake! So easy!

MAKE-AHEAD #2 Bake the quiche and refrigerate for up to a day. Gently rewarm the quiche in a low oven (about 200F/100C) until hot, about 30 minutes.

LEFTOVERS are wonderful. The quiche is even good cold!

ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
WHICH SPINACH? Baby spinach will work but must be cooked very-very briefly because the leaves are so tender, they can quickly cook to mush, not good. Mature spinach will work too, just be sure to clean it well and actually cook it in the skillet. Grocery stores now carry wonderful bags or bins of cleaned spinach whose greens are somewhere between "baby" and "mature" which are tender enough for salads but also can handle a little heat. Wondrous, these! Good frozen spinach? A godsend. I much prefer bags of frozen spinach, it seems to be of higher quality than boxes of spinach. Just be sure to thaw the spinach first (at least partway and no microwave, please) and to actually, again, cook it in the skillet. And salt! Salt seems extra important with frozen spinach.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER GREENS? Turnip greens, mustard greens and beet greens would work well, these are easily available in good grocery stores. Just be sure to clean the greens very well and to cook them until tender, the timing will vary with the kind and age of the greens.
ADDITIONS? I'm always tempted to keep adding to this quiche, poblano instead of red pepper, corn in addition to red pepper, a few rounds of okra on top. The filling is adaptable that way, I think.
DOUBLE THE FILLING? Yes, I think so. First you'll need a deeper pan than a shallow quiche pan, a deep-dish pie pan should work beautifully. Double all the filling ingredients, including the feta, but I'd do two layers of spinach with feta on the bottom and between the two spinach layers. The baking time will also vary by maybe (I'm guessing here ...) 10 - 15 minutes.




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Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

Comments

  1. AnonymousJune 19, 2006

    Hi Alanna, I am sure you have noticed on my blog that I have a weakness for Quiche !! This one also sound irresistable. I have a recipe for squash and feta, but we are in summer and spinach is always a treat. Have a nice evening, ours here is almost over...hugs, angelika

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  2. Great sounding recipe Alanna!

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  3. Hi AK,

    Looks lovely with the red pepper!

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  4. AnonymousJune 21, 2006

    lard? like, from animal fat?

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  5. yes, Anon ... lard makes the most luscious pastry ever. And BTW just in case you're wondering, A Veggie Venture is all about vegetables not vegetarian food.

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  6. Living in a veritable city of quiches, it has become a favorite and spinach quiche tops my list. This looks divine. Good tip on rolling out the store-bought dough, too, if you have to use it. (Try adding flaked salmon to your next spinach quiche - so good!! and so French. =) Thanks!

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  7. AnonymousJune 22, 2006

    Gross. You should really make that clear. Newbie vegetarians may not be aware of animal ingredients in products like lard or rennet. Your blob title is misleading.

    First you appropriate someone else's recipe, now this.

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  8. AnonymousJune 27, 2006

    It looks fabulous! I'm married to a meat and potatoes man, sigh, who would think that quiche recipe would be nice...for breakfast..but then again, off with his head! I'm making it sometime this week anyway. God, I miss quiche!

    And for the record, I never found the title of your blog misleading and I'm not sure what "appropriating" a recipe is supposed to mean. Hmmm...Funny I don't know of any blogs that only make originally authored recipes...

    Okay, whatever.

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  9. Anonymous: vegetarians eat animal products (unless you are forgetting, this recipe also calls for eggs and cheese). It's not misleading, you're just mistaking vegans and vegetarians.

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  10. AnonymousJuly 30, 2010

    inspired by you and your "concept" items, I made a feta, asparagus and fresh tomato quiche. Yours is by far the best recipe I've ever made. Thanks so much for all the recipes! Because of you we're eating *much* more healthfully :-)

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  11. Anonymous ~ Oh my, you have completely made my day with your comment, thank you so-so much for making the time to write. Feta, asparagus and fresh tomato? No WONDER your quiche was good!

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  12. The quiche is baking in the oven now and I'm sure it'll be delicious. One comment, I read and reread your directions, but didn't see when to add the red pepper. So I added it when I added the spinach.

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  13. Karen ~ Good catch, thanks for letting me know, I've corrected the recipe. I hope that your quiche turned out well!

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  14. I can't wait to try this as quiche is one thing everyone in this house will eat! My question is, how many points if I just skip the crust? I'm a "recovering Atkins addict" and have learned to love my quiches without crust...saves a lot of points, but I'd love if you could tell me specifically how many points I'd save-thx!!

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  15. Hi Megan O ~ I'm not in a place where I can re-calculate the points but can estimate, based on a couple other recipes, that the filling is about 3 points. I hope you enjoy it! I've been meaning to remake this, it's definitely on the list!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna