Call it a cliché, but after my weekend trip to Paris I was inspired to make quiche for dinner. Part of my inspiration came from the light and fluffy slice of quiche Glenn and I shared in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. The other part of my inspiration came from the fact that Glenn clearly enjoyed his Paris quiche more than the one I usually make. Needless to say, I was determined to make one he would enjoy as much, if not more.
I realized that the primary difference between my usual quiche and the one we ate this weekend was the amount of cheese. An avid lover of all things cheese related, I tend to be heavy-handed with the amount I use. For this quiche I lightened up and only added the thinnest layer of cheese on top of the crust. Instead of grating the cheese I selected a good quality Swiss from the deli case and had them thinly slice the cheese. (The same results could be achieved at home with a mandolin). I had wanted to add asparagus as my vegetable but opted for fresh baby spinach since it’s appearance beat out that of the limp looking asparagus. I threw in a bit of leftover ham to please my meat loving boys but you could omit that and turn the dish into a vegetarian option. The spinach was bright and flavorful, the custard silky smooth, and the ham added a touch of sweet and salty. Our dinner table might not have provided the same atmosphere as our bistro table in Paris, but I do think this quiche could give our Parisian version a run for its money.
HAM & SPINACH QUICHE
1 deep dish pie crust
4 ounces diced cooked ham (I used leftover brown sugar baked spiral cut)
2 ounces thinly sliced Swiss cheese
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, minced
8 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
pinch dried mustard powder
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare the crust of your choice. Roll out the crust to fit a 10 inch deep dish pie crust.
Place the cheese slices over the bottom of the pie crust.
Heat half of the olive oil in a small medium skillet over medium-high heat. Chop the spinach and add to the pan. Toss continually and cook until the spinach is just wilted. Spread evenly over the top of the cheese.
Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet. Add the minced onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the cooked ham, toss to coat with oil, and cook until heated through, about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle the ham and onion mixture evenly over the top of the spinach.
Combine the milk, eggs, flour, dried mustard, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Using a stick blender, blend the mixture until smooth and the flour is thoroughly incorporated into the liquids.
Pour the custard over the top of the ham and onions. Sprinkle with paprika.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the center of the quiche is clean. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.