Fight winter blues with hash brown quiche and marinated lentils
Julie Van Rosendaal's recipes fight against winter — and make for yummy lunches
Quiche seems like a springtime dish — and it's especially handy if you have a glut of eggs left over from Easter.
This version skips the pastry and is built on a crispy, grated, potato hash brown crust.
Use anything you like in the filling: leftover diced ham or crumbled sausage, veggies of all kinds. I like to sauté them quickly first, using the same pan to get rid of any excess moisture.
Of course fresh herbs and grated or crumbled bits of cheese help. Anything goes into a quiche, and you can serve it warm or cold. Quiche makes a great portable lunch, as well.
Of course, if you have a batch of marinated lentils in the fridge, they are delicious tossed into a quiche, too.
Simmer small, speckled French lentils with a chunk of onion, clove of garlic and a bay leaf for about 20 minutes until they're just tender.
Drain, discarding the aromatics. Drizzle with olive oil, a splash of red wine vinegar or lemon, a spoonful of grainy mustard and some salt and pepper. Stir to combine while the lentils are still steaming.
Cool the mixture. If you like, add some finely chopped carrots and/or celery and/or green onion to the mix.
Stash it in the fridge for up to a week to warm and use as a bed for a quickly cooked filet of salmon or a poached egg. You can also toss it into soups or stir into grains.
Add a handful of fresh parsley, a few tomatoes, cucumber and some crumbled feta for a quick salad.
Ham, cheese and veggie quiche with hash brown crust
This quiche has a base of crispy, grated, potato hash browns instead of pastry, an easy and delicious change from a standard quiche.
- 2 medium russet or Yukon gold potatoes.
- Salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Canola oil, for cooking.
- Butter, for cooking.
- ½ cup (or so) of diced ham or crumbled sausage.
- ½ to 1 cup of sautéed veggies, such as mushrooms, kale, spinach, peppers, asparagus, etc.
- Pinch of fresh thyme (optional).
- ½ to 1 cup grated cheddar, Gouda or other cheese.
- 4 large eggs.
- ½ cup half and half cream.
Preheat the oven to 350 F/177 C.
Grate the potatoes using the coarse side of a box grater onto a clean tea towel or double thickness of paper towel.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then gather up and squeeze out any excess moisture.
Meanwhile, set a heavy, ovenproof 20- to 22-centimetre skillet over medium-high heat. Cast iron is ideal.
Add a drizzle of oil and dab of butter.
If you like, sauté your veggies first, then set them aside. Wipe out the pan before starting on the potato crust.
Put the grated potatoes into the pan and use the bottom of a metal measuring cup to press the potatoes evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
Cook for five to eight minutes until the potatoes are golden on the bottom.
Sprinkle the ham or sausage, veggies, thyme and cheese over the crust.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and half and half.
Add another pinch of salt and pepper, then pour over the fillings. Slide into the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden.
Serving: Four to six people.
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With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.