There is often discussion of people possessing “Yankee thrift,” but never do you really hear of people being blessed with (or should I say “saddled with”) West Coast thrift. I make the distinction here between being blessed and being somewhat cursed, because, not being a Yankee, I possess whatever the West Coast version of nearly unreasonable thrift might be, and sometimes it seems like my propensity for using every part of the buffalo can reveal some fraying at the edges of my reasoning.
Right now our freezer is packed with a bag filled with the green ends of leeks that I plan on turning into vegetable stock. Also in the freezer is a small container filled with approximately ¼ cup of mushroom broth, because after I used what broth came before that last ¼ cup, it seemed flat-out wrong to waste what was left over. I have been known to hoard separated egg whites after making ice cream that calls for half a dozen yolks, and then go on a baking spree just to use up those egg whites, and then resort to getting rid of what I have just baked because there is no way possible that the three of us can pack away that many of whatever it was I decided to make in order to “not waste” the egg whites. Do you see where this is going? When you save things in order to make things in order to not waste things, but then you have no used for those things, are you not then merely wasting your own time and money in an effort to not waste another product of your time and money?
It’s a slippery slope. However, it can also be a delicious and inventive slope, and that’s where this quiche comes in. Using a bit of leftover this and that from this and THAT (link), we were rewarded with a lovely—and highly adaptable—dinner. As noted, I used sautéed beet greens that remained from a previous day’s salad, but any greens you have lying around (spinach, chard, kale) will serve this quiche well. Chevre adds a wonderfully rich tanginess to the body of the quiche, but, if you don’t have it, a bit of Parmesan, Pecorino Romano or Gruyere would also provide a nice, though very different, flavor profile. The idea here is to use whatever you have staring at you from the fridge, and it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll love the result.
Beet Greens and Chevre Quiche
1 9-inch pie crust (my absolute favorite recipe for flaky pie and tart dough can be found here–the recipes makes enough dough for two single crust pies or tarts, but the unused dough can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and kept in the freezer for two to three weeks)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups lightly packed coarsely chopped beet greens (or other green of your choice), tough stems removed
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
4 ounces crumbled chevre
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Roll out crust and shape into a 9-inch pie pan. Line the crust with foil and fill with pie weights (or dried beans or pennies). Bake crust for 15-20 minutes, until the edges appear dry and the bottom of the crust is sizzling. Remove crust from oven, remove foil and pie weights, then set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped greens and sauté until wilted and reduced in size, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir to combine. Saute, stirring occasionally to keep the garlic from browning, until most of the moisture has been cooked from the greens, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove greens from heat and set aside to cool slightly. You should have roughly 1 cup of cooked greens.
In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, and chevre. Whisk to combine. Add cooled sautéed greens and whisk to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the egg mixture into the parbaked crust. Return to oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the quiche is puffed on top and the middle is set. If the edges of the crust begin to brown too rapidly during baking, wrap the edges of the crust with a protective layer of aluminum foil.
Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.