Muffy Vhay: Quiche recipe is simple, light, inspired by garden
July 10, 2013
The summer solstice has come and gone.
The start of summer? We here on the ranch celebrate — or at least note — the date as "the first day of winter." The days are getting shorter again, even if by only a minute or two every few days.
For us, that means a sort of countdown through our busiest season: two more cuts of hay — one is done, cut, baled and sold already.
Everything is planted out in the garden, and we're already harvesting chard, lettuce, onions and herbs.
The first big weeding is done; some of the corn is mulched and "knee high by the Fourth of July"; and cabbage, broccoli, beets and carrots are thinned, though they will need it again. There are baby tomatoes on good-sized plants, and even some little baby squashes.
Strawberry jam from Rodriguez farms at the farmer's market is made and tucked away for later.
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We'll use tomatoes, squash, corn and fruits from the farmer's market for a few more weeks until ours come in.
There's lots more to do, of course. Plus our lives are especially brightened by the arrival of a new Aussie puppy that keeps us laughing and wakes us at 4 in the morning.
As we work through these long days, the thought of cooler, shorter days, evenings by the fire, good books and slow-cooked meals keeps us going. We are most thankful for the seasonality of our lives. The downside is the winter solstice, which should be the first day of summer — but we rationalize and remember that we have three months before the warm weather sets in again.
Our recipe this week is for a summer quiche — simple, light and inspired by the garden. It's good for breakfast, lunch or dinner, and is especially nice accompanied by a green or fruit salad.
This is a small recipe that serves about four. It may be doubled easily. The ingredients may be changed to use what you have; just keep the milk/egg proportions the same.
Lightly grease an 8- or 9-inch pie dish and set aside. Set the oven at 375 degrees.
Make the crust (or use a purchased pie crust):
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
½ teaspoon salt
about ¼ cup ice water
Mix by hand or with a pastry blender the flour, salt and shortening until crumbly.
Add the water; you may need a little less or a little more, depending on the flour.
Mix with a big spoon until it holds together in a ball; roll out on a floured board and fit into your pie plate. Cut around the edge, leaving an extra half-inch. Fold in the extra to make a double thickness rim and crimp the edge. Set aside, covered with a damp dish towel.
Make the filling:
3 eggs, well-blended
1½ cups whole milk
½ to ¾ cup grated creamy Havarti cheese (or your choice)
as much chopped parsley as you would like
salt and pepper to taste
Mix the above, and add your choice of:
½ cup steamed, chopped chard or spinach
¼ cup diced green onion
½ cup steamed, chopped broccoli
½ cup steamed, sliced baby summer squash
Combine the two mixtures; pour into the pie shell and bake until done, about 35-40 minutes. Take out of the oven when the center is still a bit quivery.
David and Muffy Vhay are the owners of Deer Run Ranch Bed and Breakfast. Contact the ranch at 775-882-3643.
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