Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Interesting Vegetables: Part Two

Fasten your seat belts, this is going to be an on-going series. Today's ode to interesting vegetables is a shout-out to my bro, gardener extraordinaire. Dude's got some serious skills. He's at one with the earth and the quality and variety of things he coaxes from the ground are nothing short of astounding. Earlier this season we were treated to some marvelous lettuces and radish. This past weekend we feasted on swiss chard, beets and broccoli. Later there will be corn, tomatoes, potatoes and various summer squash - among other things. I can't wait. I meant to take some pics when I was back at the ranch last weekend but forgot my camera. Look for garden photos later in summer.

I was able to snag one of the last heads of broccoli to bring home with me and it was amazing ... so sweet and tender. Even the husband loved it and he's generally not a fan. We had some with dinner on Monday and the head was so gigantic that I had plenty left over to morph into another dish last night.

Now, if I'm going to get the husband to eat broccoli two nights in a row - I'd better bring it. I'd better make it interesting. Bacon and cheese improve *everything*. This is a universal truth. I decided to whip up a quiche, and since I'm Beaching it - I opted to try a crustless one. I used my standard quiche recipe and baked it off as per usual, only - sans crust. Much to my surprise it worked. I served it with a side of steamed zucchini and yellow squash and a delicious dinner was had by all.

Crustless Broccoli Quiche:

  • 2 cups steamed fresh broccoli, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 3 slices of Canadian Bacon
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup shredded Emmental cheese
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • generous grating of fresh nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • generous grating of freshly ground black pepper
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • minced fresh chives
  • sprinkle of paprika
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil a deep-dish glass or Pyrex pie dish. Do not use a metal pan for this as the quiche will stick.

In a medium sized non-stick sautée pan, heat the Canadian bacon over medium-high heat until golden brown. Remove from the pan and reserve. Add olive oil to the pan and sautée the onions until they begin to caramelize and are just slightly golden. Add the chopped broccoli to the pan and stir to combine. Warm the mixture over medium heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat and spread the mixture into the prepared pie dish. Reserve.

Dice the Canadian bacon and scatter it over the broccoli mixture along with the shredded cheese.

In a small sauce pan, combine the skim milk and soy milk and heat until just before it scalds. Reserve.

Crack the eggs into a medium sized bowl and whisk to scramble. Slowly add the reserved milk/soy milk mixture, a little at a time, whisking constantly. Add the nutmeg, salt, pepper, chives and cayenne pepper and whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture over the broccoli and sprinkle the top with a bit of paprika. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 - 40 minutes, or until the center has just set. Cooking time will vary according to your oven, so begin checking it after 3o minutes. The quiche is done when the edges have browned slightly and the center is set. Serve and enjoy.

Notes: This technique will work well for any cooked vegetables so feel free to experiment. I opted to use the half cup of soy milk rather than 1 1/2 cups of skim milk so that there would be some additional fat in the batter. This helps to reduce the odds of the quiche sticking to the pan. You could certainly use whole milk, or some other combination of milk and cream if you're not fat-averse and are frightened of soy products. The choice is up to you.

So, big ups to you, my brother, on the righteous produce ... and keep it coming!


Todd said...

Wow, thanks for the Props! Perhaps the only thing better than the taste of the finished product is the satisfaction of sharing it with family anf friends!

Next Up: Cabbage. We picked 1 last night. It's not quite ready yet, but definitely delicious.

For any Gardeners out there, here are the varieties I used:

Broccoli : Arcadia
Cabbage : Premium Late Flat Dutch. I'd also strongly recommend Tendersweet, which we grew last year.

Props to Johnny Seeds and SeedSavers for the variety and quality of the seed stock.

Love You!

The Diva on a Diet said...

I can attest to the yumminess of last year's cabbage - and can't wait for this year,s. The broccoli was a big hit, so I'd vote for that variety again next year.

Thanks for the comment and love you back!

pixelgal said...

This is no exaggeration on the Diva's part. I have sampled the garden king's veges thanks to his generosity and they are really wonderful. Last night for dinner we had some beets, simply boiled and either salted or in my case with some red vinegar. So delicious and sweet. I know they're not southie food but had to talk about them anyway. Keep up the good work, kiddo, and thanks to the sis for telling everyone. If your fans lived closer to CT they could come and sample the ample veges for themeselves.

Deb said...

Where in Ct? I'm originally from Wolcott

The Diva on a Diet said...

Deb - you're a fellow CT-er! We're originally from Hamden but pixelgal is in North Haven now ... and if you can't tell ... she's my mom! :)

Where is Wolcott?