Have you ever read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo? My friend Melanie has been pushing this book on me for months, and I finally sprang for it on my Kindle. In reading this book, I’ve made a couple of discoveries about myself. First of all, we have way too much crap in our house. Since I met the hubby, I’ve moved in and out of places 14 times. We have unopened boxes from our very first of those 14 moves. I have no idea what’s in those boxes. I hope it’s gold.
Secondly, I know at some point that I’m going to become my mother, who is, as you’ve probably guessed, a small Chinese lady. I know this to be the case because I’m already saving used Ziploc bags, folded neatly in a drawer for future use. I know this to be the case because I’m always cold, even when it’s 75 degrees outside. I know this to be the case because, like my mother, who watches the news show 20/20 religiously every Friday night but falls asleep before the end and then warns me the next day about important crises, like the hazards of blue cheese, but doesn’t actually know how to prevent said hazards or whether it’s even really a hazard in the first place because she fell asleep, I have only read about half of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I keep falling asleep. It’s very relaxing, and therefore, I have no idea how it ends. Maybe I’m supposed to chuck all of my remaining life’s belongings into the ocean while yelling cathartic phrases about freedom. Maybe I cover everything in whipped cream and eat it. Who knows? All I can tell you so far is that it’s changing my life. I’ve been on a purging and re-organizing bonanza. My mind feels clear and my heart is open.
Unfortunately, because everything is so precariously balanced in my life, while I’ve been purging and cleaning, I haven’t had much time for cooking new recipes or photographing food. Last night I flipped through my recent photos and realized that I’ve had some really great visits to places in Charleston (which I’m excited to share in the next week or so), but in the cooking department — well, let’s just say it’s been crickets. Then I found these photos I took awhile ago of broccoli and gruyere quiche, which just so happens to be one of our weekday staples, so today I’m sharing the recipe.
Quiche is, in my mind, one of the greatest savory pies on the planet. I’m a big fan of savory pies, from juicy meat-filled Cornish pies to flaky chicken curry pies. Don’t get me wrong — I like sweet pies, too, but any time you can add a pate choux (pastry crust) to meat and vegetables, I’m all ears.
The broccoli and gruyere quiche that I make is also topped with Parmesan cheese, which gives it a nice little browned top. I use a combination of whisked egg and milk as the foundation, and I pre-cook the broccoli until it’s bright green and crisp-tender so that it softens in the oven. The little bits of broccoli floret that peek through to the surface of the quiche also get browned and crispy, adding a nice crunchier texture to the silkiness of the egg custard that the broccoli is suspended in.
I’d stopped making broccoli quiche recently in favor of trying new recipes and also because Meimei had a pretty strong hate for broccoli. Then, all of a sudden, last night she ate a huge helping of broccoli at dinner. “I’m two-and-a-half now, Mama,” she said confidently. “Now I like broccoli.” It might have helped that I practically danced a ticker-tape parade around the table in celebration every time she ate a bite. Hey, whatever works, right?
Okay, gotta run. It’s time to purge some more…
- 2 cups chopped fresh broccoli (try to use florets and not stems)
- ½ small onion, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 eggs
- 1.5 cups milk (2% or more is best for a creamier custard)
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 pie crust (can use frozen or pre-prepared)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Roll out pie crust and drape over a pie dish so that it covers the bottom and sides completely.
- Find a skillet with a tight fitting cover. With the skillet uncovered, heat the skillet over medium heat for a few minutes, then add the olive oil. Add the onion, salt and pepper and saute for 2-3 minutes until onion is translucent. Add the garlic and broccoli and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add water, cover the skillet with the lid and reduce heat to medium low, allowing broccoli to steam for an additional 2-3 minutes until the broccoli is bright green but still crunchy. Remove the skillet from heat and drain the broccoli in a colander. Set the broccoli aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl, add milk and eggs and whisk together until just incorporated (don't overbeat the eggs or you'll get tons of froth).
- Layer the broccoli evenly through the pie dish. Sprinkle the Gruyere on top, then add the milk and egg mixture. Top with the Parmesan.
- Trim the edges of the pie crust with a sharp paring knife to remove the excess pastry dough and then crimp the edges with your fingers.
- Slide the pie dish carefully into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is browned and the egg custard is puffed and golden. Let cool on a wire rack for about 10-15 minutes and then slice and serve with a fresh salad.