Chard, Leek, and Feta Quiche
January is the worst.
I’m sorry, it just is. Without the holidays to blur the sharp glare of winter, January is like that first week back in the office after a month-long tropical vacation. The good times are over. There’s nothing to look forward to. It’s a harsh jolt back into reality. And reality bites.
I’ve been a bit absent these last few weeks, and I’d like to blame January for that, too. Truth be told, things have been a little out of sync for me, but I think that I’m finally getting my groove back. Or at least, as much as I can during the most depressing time of the year.
For my avid readers—all two of you—who have been yearning for my next post, poised in front of your computers, waiting for my words to come through and soothe your weary, January-jaded souls, only to be let down day after day, I’m truly sorry. And I hope to make it up to you with a little game I like to call, “Let’s pretend it’s Spring, shall we?”
Okay, so maybe fresh chard isn’t technically in season, and maybe a light and cheery quiche isn’t quite the wintertime comfort food your grumpy, frost-addled brain is craving right now. But just go with me on this. Because as soon as the fresh scent of rosemary-tinged eggy goodness fills your kitchen, you won’t care. You’ll remember that this too shall pass. Winter will give way to Spring someday, and it will probably smell just like this. Heavenly. And then you’ll be happy again.
Believe me when I tell you that this quiche is a) healthy and b) divine. Think brunch on a bistro patio, sipping a mimosa, soft breeze on your face… that kind of divine. Because while the taste is akin to something I’ve paid upwards of $15 for at a café, its ingredient list bears no resemblance to the half-pound-of-cheese-and-heavy-cream-laden quiches we’ve all had and lived to regret.
It’s light, fluffy, and has just enough substance to satisfy your brain’s incessant demands for cold-weather comfort foods. And that crust. You won’t miss the carbs or butter, I promise. Earthy nuts and rosemary blend perfectly with the quiche’s salty feta and sweet leeks. It almost makes you think Spring really might be in the air. Almost.
Rosemary Almond Crust
1 1/4 cup almonds
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place the almonds and rosemary in a food processor and pulse until almonds are fine and mealy. Add flour, salt, and coconut oil until mixture comes together.
Prepare a tart pan or pie dish by coating with cooking spray or greasing with coconut oil. Dump almond mixture into pan and press into an even crust covering the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 15 minutes until just firm and lightly brown. Set aside to cool.
Chard, Leek, and Feta Filling
3 stalks rainbow chard
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup milk
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried rosemary
Remove the leek’s dark green top and stem, then finely chop. Place in a bowl of cold water to remove any dirt or grit.
Meanwhile, remove the leafy greens from the rainbow chard. Chop chard stems into about 1/4 inch pieces and chiffonade the greens. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a skillet. Drain the leeks and add them to skillet along with the garlic. Sauté for about 8 minutes, until the leeks are bright green and limp. Add chard stalks and leaves. Sauté about 5 minutes more, until the stalks are softened and the greens are wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place eggs, milk, thyme, rosemary, and pepper in a bowl and whisk well. Add feta cheese and sauteed vegetables. Mix together, then pour over almond crust.
Bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes, until set through and slightly golden brown around the edges.