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Sunday Means Tomato Ricotta Quiche

Savory baked tomatoes in  ricotta cream make a perfect lunch for a Sunday afternoon.

Savory baked tomatoes in ricotta cream and a crispy crust make a perfect lunch for a Sunday afternoon.

Sundays are meant for great mugs of latte sprinkled with cinnamon, lazy moments with the family, and baking a big beautiful lunch that scents the house with savory aromas and draws family to the table.

Today, the tomatoes I bought at my local produce stand on Friday for were looking juicy and ripe. A quick scan of the fridge told me I had cream, and a tub of ricotta, and plenty of herbs. It was the perfect time to whip up a tasty quiche.

Beautiful, golden-yolk eggs.

Start with beautiful, golden-yolk eggs.

When I make quiche, I never use a recipe. After making so many hundreds through the years, I’ve learned to adapt my technique to whatever ingredients I have on hand. You really can’t go wrong.

I start with four or five farm fresh eggs, add a few cups of half and half, season with fresh or dried herbs, and whisk lightly into a nice base for your ingredients.  Heavy cream is also an option, though one that is a bit more calorie-rich. When using heavy cream, the finished result will be, well, creamier. My personal preference is to use half and half, which gives a fluffy egg surround to the filling ingredients.

Layer vegetables and cheeses before filling.

Layer cheeses and vegetables before filling. For a better result, include a layer of cheese beneath the moist vegetables.

Though I do make my own crust for special recipes, I also keep my favorite time-saving store-bought crust on hand for impromptu meals.  When using these store-bought crusts, for each quiche I will use one crust as a base, then pinch strips from the other around the edge to create a deeply fluted edge that becomes flaky when baked.

Layer, but don't fill right to the edge of the crust or your quiche will overflow the rim and leave a bubbling mess. But just in case it decides to expand more than you anticipate during cooking, always bake your quiche on a baking sheet for easier cleanup.

Layer, but don’t fill right to the edge of the crust or your quiche will overflow the rim and leave a bubbling mess. But just in case it decides to expand more than you anticipate during cooking, always bake your quiche on a baking sheet for easier cleanup.

For fillings, I often begin with a layer of Parmesan, then add my vegetables or meats, add shredded cheese (I used a nutty Swiss for this) and repeat until I have a good center for my quiche. Pour the creamy filling over the top, and end with a healthy handful of shredded cheese or grated Parmesan to give your quiche a beautiful golden color.

So what can you do to enhance flavor? Consider adding a few dollops of mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, pesto, or other savory spread to your egg base. Add caramelized onions or shallots for depth of flavor. Use bits of smoked cooked bacon or ham, or leftover grilled meats.

The possibilities are endless. Though quiche are always delicious (and make great homemade lunchbox treats), I can honestly say I get just as much enjoyment from the hour or so my quiche is baking and bubbling in the oven while I absorb the incredible aroma.

So instead of breezing through a quick bite on your way out the door to somewhere else, savor Sunday lunch at home, and try your own hand at making quiche.

 

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