- Crust for a 9-inch pie pan (line your pan with the rolled-out dough and place in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.)
- 2 or 3 slices of bacon (optional—to make it vegetarian, leave out the bacon and use oil of your choice for sautéing the arugula.)
- ¼ cup chopped onion (you can use up to ½ cup, but I didn’t want that much onion flavor.)
- 8 ounces arugula (or spinach, etc.) Remove any tough stems, but this time of year it is easy to find tender greens.)
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup half-n-half (you can also use heavy cream, or mix the heavy cream with some milk to thin it. Just don’t use skim milk for the full cup as you will have a watery quiche.)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¾ cup shredded Swiss-type cheese, about 3 ounces (I like Kenny’s Kentucky Moon.)
- Optional: up to a cup of chopped ham or cooked sausage
• Preheat oven to 375°.
• Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp, about 5 minutes. (If making this vegetarian, heat your oil.) Transfer bacon to paper-towel-lined plate to drain. When cool enough to handle, crumble the bacon. Add onions to skillet and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes—be careful not to burn them. Add the arugula a few handfuls at a time, allowing each batch to wilt and reduce in the skillet. When all of it is wilted, remove from heat, add the vinegar and toss to combine.
• In a large bowl, beat eggs with the cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in cheese, arugula and the bacon or other cooked meat, if using. Pour the mixture into the crust-lined pan, and redistribute the greens if needed to smooth it out.
• Bake until the filling is slightly puffed and golden, 30–35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
About this recipe
Finally, spring has sprung and with it come the first tasty things from the garden. One of my absolute favorite foods from the early garden is fresh arugula — so tender and full of flavor — a welcome change after the more muted flavors of most cold weather vegetables such as squash, parsnips, rutabagas, etc. Don’t get me wrong: I love my winter veggies, but I’m a total omnivore and I’m so glad we can grow such a great variety of foods in our climate.
As I pondered how to showcase this peppery-flavored green, I came across a recipe for an arugula tart. I riffed on it and came up with this quiche, which took me down the road of brunch foods. As we are also heading into Derby entertaining season, Mother’s Day, graduation parties, bridal showers and what have you, I hope these recipes will give you some inspiration for your own way to enjoy the delicious foods of a Kentucky spring.