Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Rustic Quiche for a January Night

January is a month for simplicity and comfort. As you've probably noticed by now, I can't seem to stop throwing those words around, but it's true. I want food that will make me feel like I've curled up with a warm blanket.

A quick glance 'round the pantry revealed whole wheat flour, lots of eggs, some kale and a can of salmon. A quiche seemed the natural course of affairs.

Now, one of the challenges with quiche in our household is that my husband loathes eggs.

Well, he claims to loathe them. The way I see it, he'll enjoy them mixed in things so long as the main dish doesn't actually taste like eggs.

Egg fried rice? Not a problem for him. Loves it. Poached eggs? That's a problem.

So when it comes to quiche, it has to be flavourful. The eggs need to serve as a binder rather than the star ingredient.

Mmm. Chalk full of KALE.
 Luckily for me (or rather, for my husband), I'd been saving up a jar of The Fishery's smoked salmon since November for one cold winter's night like this.

Expensive, but SO delicious
It's massive hunks of gorgeous smoked salmon.... in a can. You cannot get better than this. It's sooo much smokier than your vacuum-packed cold or hot smoked salmon. I think I've waxed eloquently about their smoked salmon mousse before too.

If not waxed eloquently, then at least mentioned it in passing. Whatever. It's dynamite.

I used my go-to lighter crust for this recipe and included whole wheat flour in it (a first for me), and it turned out pretty decently (as much as whole wheat all-purpose flour will allow you to!) I'll definitely use this recipe again.

Salmon & Kale Quiche with a Pepper Whole Wheat Crust


½ cup white flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp ground pepper
¼ tsp ground red pepper (I used my Japanese shichimi powder)
¼ tsp salt
3 tbsp butter, cut into small chunks
4½ tbsp ice water

1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3-4 cups shredded kale, stems removed and rinsed well
1 can salmon (smoked if you can find it)
1 small hunk of interesting cheese (I used the last little hunk of a raw milk cheese with ash in it)
5 egg white
3 egg yolks
½ cup milk
pepper to taste



1. Place flours, peppers and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Continue pulsing, adding butter chunks slowly until mixture is coarse. Slowly add ice water, again, in pulses until mixture just holds together.

*Confession: I'm terrible at making pastry, but this version is reliable enough for me to make a serviceable, reduced fat version that everyone seems happy with. If you have your own pastry recipe that you love, use it!*

2. Turn mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap and form into a circle. Wrap tightly and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

3. Remove from fridge and roll out until desired size. I used an 8" deep dish pie crust for this, but have use the same recipe with my 9" tart pan as well. Fit dough into your pan and crimp the edges.

4. Preheat oven to 450º.

5. Prick bottom all over with fork. This will prevent the dough from puffing up when you bake it in the oven. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove and bake for 20 minutes, or until beginning to turn golden.

Ready to be filled (have I mentioned how much I hate my harvest gold stove?)
6. Let pastry cool for 5-10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 400º.


1. While the dough is chilling, heat butter and olive oil in a pan. Sauté onions over low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until sweet and golden. Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Remove mixture from pan and place in a bowl.

2. Place kale in the pan and, stirring frequently, cook until wilted and dark green.

before wilting to a glorious deep emerald green
3. Remove kale from pan and add to onion mixture. Open the can of salmon and remove any large bones and skin.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg whites, egg yolks, milk and pepper (I leave salt out here because of the sodium in the smoked salmon and the cheese).

5. Begin layering fillings on top of crust. I started with the kale and onion mixture first.

And then the salmon:

And then poured in the egg mixture and dotted the top with cheese.

See the layer of ash in the cheese?
6. Bake at 400º for about 20 minutes, or until egg is set and puffed and the cheese has begun to turn golden!

Serve with a salad on the side and enjoy the leftovers for breakfast or lunch tomorrow!

Earthy, warming, rustic and delicious.

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