Monday, July 25, 2016

Zucchini Spiral Quiche

There are so many things to love about summer - long sunny days, fluffy clouds, beautiful sunsets, and weekend farmers markets! Farmers market is my prime motivation on Saturdays to get an early morning workout. Once I’m up and about, and feeling good about having burnt some calories, I head to the market for delicious breakfast crepes or tacos, and pick up fresh veggies and fruits for the week. Lately I’ve been seeing über bright yellow & green zucchini at several vendor booths. Last week I got one of each, and decided to make something that really highlights those lovely bright colors. I had seen pictures of spiral quiches floating around on the internet, and quiche being one of my go-to dishes when I can’t figure out what to make, I thought I’d give the spiral quiche a try! I added ricotta cheese to the custard to make it a bit dense so it could hold the zucchini. This quiche certainly required some extra efforts, but the eye-catching results were worth it, and it was absolutely delicious!


2 large Zucchini (1 green, 1 yellow)
1 pie crust
3 eggs
¾ cup part skim ricotta cheese
¼ cup skim milk
1 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese - optional
¼ tsp Nutmeg - optional
Salt and ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 350 F.
Wash the zucchini and slice them very thin lengthwise?. You want the slices to also be of similar width so slices towards the wider middle might need to be cut in half lengthwise. Sprinkle a little bit of salt on the slices and let them sit for a half hour to release moisture. Use paper towels to squeeze out as much moisture as possible. If this step is skipped you’ll end up with a lot of liquid in the quiche as it starts baking. If this happens, don’t worry! Just use paper towels and soak up the liquid on top and continue to bake. You might have to repeat blotting a few times during the total baking period.


While the zucchini slices are resting, lightly grease a 9” baking pan and line it with pie crust. Add pie weights (or dry beans, rice etc.) and bake the crust for 10 min. Increase the oven temperature to 375 F.
Make the custard by mixing the eggs, ricotta cheese and milk in a bowl. Add nutmeg and season with salt and pepper (remember there’s salt on the zucchini slices!!).

Assembling the quiche:
Add the custard to the semi baked pie crust.
Start rolling one zucchini slice with the skin side on top. Roll it really tight! Then take another slice of different color and roll it around the first one. Keep doing this till you get a tightly wound disk about 5-6” in diameter (or as wide as you can hold securely). While you are rolling it is best to have someone assisting or use heavy objects to hold the ends of the zucchini slices in place. I had a few glass bowls helping me with this.
Once you have a 5-6” disk, gently pick it up and place it in the center of the pie crust with the custard. Continue adding zucchini slices till you reach the crust. You’ll get custard all over your hands but trust me, it’s totally worth it!
Transfer the baking pan to the oven and bake for ~45-50 min until the custard is well set. As I mentioned earlier, don’t worry if you see liquid pooling on top. You can just soak it up with a paper towel. Once the custard is set to your liking, sprinkle grated cheese on top and broil on high for a couple minutes until the cheese is browned.
If at any point you feel like the crust is getting too dark, you can cover the crust with Aluminum foil. This will allow the rest of the quiche to continue baking while reducing the intensity of heat transferred to the crust.
Once baked, let the quiche cool for ~5-10 minutes, then slice and serve!



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