I have been keeping it happy today.
And by “keeping it happy,” I mean watching the adorable minions in one of my favorite movies of all time, Despicable Me. And tripping hilariously all over myself trying to dance along with Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” (and settling for enthusiastic clapping instead). And making a fantastic spinach mushroom quiche that made my generally egg-adverse tastebuds incredibly happy.
I’m not sure why it took me so long to make and post a recipe for a quiche. Granted, I’m not a fan of fried, scrambled, or poached eggs (runny yolks, ew) in any form. But I do love quiches and frittatas. On top of that, quiche has an interesting culinary history. Although quiches–egg custards filled with vegetables and meat that are typically baked in a single pastry crust–are quintessential French fare, the dish actually originated in Germany (the word quiche is derived from the German word Kuchen, which means “cake”). So, at least etymologically-speaking, quiches are cakes.
I’ll admit that the appeal of eating a savory “cake” was amplified this time around by the idea of being able to make a good lunch or supper dish that can be enjoyed cold. Then there is the virtue of any dish that combines two of my great loves, dark green spinach and earthy brown mushrooms–the latter of which I love with a deep and abiding regard that is downright Hobbitish. (No lie. I am with Merry and Pippin, whom I expect would have completely forgotten about the Ring if presented with a large basketful of mushrooms purloined from some unsuspecting farmer’s garden.)
Quiche starts with a pie crust baked in either a pie pan or a tart pan (I used the latter). You can use either your favorite recipe or a store-bought one (I won’t tell!). Although it’s not absolutely necessary, I froze my crust in a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (hahahaha, the name of that pan never fails to amuse me), then par-baked it for about 12 minutes just to make sure it got done after adding in the filling.
While my crust par-baked, I sauteed some mushrooms, chopped some frozen spinach, grated some cheese, and whisked up an egg custard, all while playing “Happy” at a pretty decent volume. I may or may not have also attempted to dance in the kitchen during this process. I admit to nothing.
Sharp cheddar cheese and the secret ingredient–which I beg you not to omit–a few tablespoons of toasted walnuts are sprinkled over the spinach. Then the egg custard is poured over the top and allowed to settle into the filling.
This quiche made me absolutely happy, thanks to its perfect ratio of spinach and mushrooms to custard. Surprisingly enough, the walnuts really made this quiche–they provided just the right crunchy, faintly bitter contrast to the creaminess of the custard,earthiness of the spinach and mushrooms, and saltiness of the cheese.