Tuesday, March 29, 2011

kale and ricotta quiche, #17 of 52

while wandering through my little backyard garden last week, i could see it was time to pick the kale.  we have two varieties growing and they had begun to send out flower stalks-in other words, they were going to seed.  we had overwintered them and it was time to harvest the plants.  unfortunately, our red cabbage had chosen the same route.  we never got any heads on the plants, just leaves and now flower stalks.  we love to eat cooked greens but there is only so much you can eat in one weekend.

while perusing through food52.com, i saw that the weekly challenge was winter tarts-sweet and savory.  they post links and invite members to test the recipes and then report back to them.  by the time i had looked at the list, almost all were claimed and i decided not to participate.  on closer inspection, i spied a link to a spinach and ricotta pie.  suddenly, the light bulb blinked on and i realized i had a use for some of that kale and cabbage!

using my new red pie dish, i mixed up a blue cornmeal pie crust.  i recently found a bag of blue cornmeal lurking in the freezer.  using a non hydrogenated shortening, i made a flaky pie crust that appears slightly grey and flecked with little bits of blue cornmeal.

there are two types of kale and some red cabbage in the mix.  looking at the center of the photo you will see a flower stalk from the red cabbage.  to the left of it is the kale we received from jeff poppen, the barefoot farmer and to the right is red russian kale.  all of the flower stalks i cut off were added and they taste a lot like broccoli raab
off to the garden i went-i picked a large bowl full and after washing it thoroughly, i cut it into thin strips.  the total amount ended up being about 5 cups of raw greens.   once sauteed with onions and garlic, it is hard to tell which is which.  the greens and the cabbage looked about the same.

kale and ricotta quiche
1 (9") quiche serving 8
recipe adapted from lizthechef on food52.com

1 (9") pie shell, homemade or purchased and partially baked
fresh kale or other greens-see above for amount
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound ricotta-i used a 15 ounce tub from the grocery store
3 eggs
1/2 cup half and half (could use sour cream, yogurt or buttermilk to help cut the richness of the cheese)
1/2-3/4 cup grated cheese-the sharper the better
salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
preheat the oven to 350.  heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  saute the onions until translucent, add the garlic and saute for a minute or two.  add the kale and saute until tender.  season the mixture with the salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg-season a little more than you think is necessary since the rich cheese custard will be on the bland side.  spread the mixture in the pie shell.  in a mixing bowl, whisk the ricotta with the eggs until smooth.  add the half and half and whisk to combine.  top the kale with the grated cheese and pour the custard into the dish.  stir up the kale a little so that some is on top of the pie-this is a thick custard and the kale will not float to the top.  bake until the custard  is set, about 45 minutes.  allow it to rest for about 10-15 minutes before serving and serve it with an acidic side dish such as a salad dressed in a vinaigrette or citrus dressing.

and as always, bake one, send me a photo and see it here.  bakinbabe116@aol.com

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