Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I've been trying to cook vegetarian meals at least once a week, which means I turn to pastas and sandwiches and often breakfast for supper (hold the bacon.) Other times I've tried to go meat-lite, which means a big salad tossed with a chicken breast, shared between us, or stir-fries with a steak, shared between us. But for the last month I've been enjoying the fruits of someone else's labor, and it's made our meals more healthy than they've ever been. My secret? A CSA share from Mill River Farm in nearby Mount Airy. It's without a doubt the best money we've ever spent. There is no worrying about what pesticides were used on the produce because it's all organic. There is no worrying about what kind of antibiotics were used on the chickens who lay our eggs because they're all hormone-free. And there's more! The cows and pigs live happily, roaming free. No additives. No antibiotics. No steroids. No altered feed. It's all music to this mama's ears.
We bought half a share, which is perfect for our little family of three. We didn't buy a meat share, but now we're re-considering because everything else we've eaten is so simply perfect. Going to pick up our box each week is like getting a present. I love to find out what I'll be bringing home then sitting down to figure out what I'm going to cook. There is often a loaf of bread thrown in, or a pint of strawberries, and one week there was even a jar of strawberry jam. There has been a dozen gorgeous eggs every week, and their naturally colorful shells make them look early for Easter. For the first few weeks we had fresh, crisp lettuces, and I enjoyed a salad every single night. We've had cabbage for those aforementioned stir-fries. And the thing that made this family very happy was the broccoli. (You know how we love our side of broccoli around here!)
When the weather unexpectedly turned a bit chilly I started to crave something baked to fill our bellies and warm our souls. I naturally turned to breakfast food, or maybe you'd call a quiche more of a brunch food. But it works for any meal, and for us it worked for supper. What I love about quiches is their versatility. All it takes is a few eggs, the contents of your produce drawer, a bit of cheese and some imagination to create the perfect quiche for your family. In our case it was fresh broccoli and green onions from our CSA box, along with some crisp, chopped bacon, and sour cream for, you know, added creaminess. Put it all in the perfect tart shell and you have an elegant, filling, inexpensive meal that makes everybody happy.
Broccoli, Sour Cream and Bacon Quiche
Adapted from Allrecipes
* Makes four generous servings or six if paired with side dishes.
* Total time to prepare: 1 hour, 20 minutes.
1 tart shell
2 slices of bacon
1 clove garlic, minced
Half of one small onion, chopped (or one bunch green onions, cut with scissors)
1 medium bunch broccoli, chopped (or 2 cups frozen florets)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 eggs, well-beaten
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup sour cream
1. Make tart shell and set aside. (For the easiest, most-perfect tart shell ever try David Leibovitz's recipe for French Tart Dough.)
2. Steam or boil broccoli until bright green, then drain and set aside.
3. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
4. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp then remove, cool and chop. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon grease in pan, and add garlic and onions, cooking until translucent, about three minutes. Add flour and cook about two minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in broccoli, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour mixture into tart shell. Top with cheese, then set aside.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk and sour cream until smooth. Pour over vegetable mixture and cheese.
6. Bake 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake 30 minutes more, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled. Makes great leftovers; freezable; and perfect with a side salad or a plate of hot, crisp hashbrowns.