Crust-less vegetable quiche

I’m a vegetarian and in the early days of our dating, my partner would scratch his head to come up with things he could cook for me. He stole this recipe from his mum who is  an amazing cook. Thank you sweetie for this recipe.

Being crust-less, this recipe keeps the quiche on the slightly more healthy side. Someone once said to me that a single pie has a golf ball sized blob of butter in it’s flaky layers. One can only imagine how much more fat a pie crust which is about 4 times the size of a regular pie has. While I don’t skimp on fat where it is required (eg: in a tiramisu), this recipe is really tasty without the need for it.

The basic recipe (makes an 8″ round quiche)

Ingredients:

2 tsp margarine or olive oil to rub on the inside of the quiche dish/baking tray

3/4 cup of bread crumbs (golden breadcrumbs makes the quiche look cooler)

1/2 cup of  parmesan or mozzarella cheese ( or any other gratable cheese you can find)

4 eggs

1 cup milk (skim will work just fine)

200 gms mushrooms

1 medium onion

1 medium tomato, thinly sliced into circles

handful of baby spinach leaves

pepper to taste

salt (optional)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200° C ( 400°F or gas mark 6).

1. First rub the margarine/oil all over the inside of the baking dish. Leave no surface ungreased.

2. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of bread crumbs into the dish. Tilt the dish and tap until the breadcrumbs stick to the entire inner surface of the dish. This is your crust and will make sure the quiche doesn’t permanently stick to the dish.

3. Saute the mushrooms and onions until cooked. Add freshly ground pepper and salt (optional)

4. Spread the mushroom onion mixture at the base of your quiche dish as evenly as you can and sprinkle more pepper if you’d like.

5. Spread the baby spinach leaves in a pattern of your choice over the mushrooms and onions.

6. Beat the eggs and milk in a separate bowl and pour over the vegetables. This should just about cover the veges. Don’t worry if it is a bit low as the quiche will puff up when it’s baking and engulf the vegies ( I clearly spend too much time watching the oven !).

7. Mix the remaining breadcrumbs and cheese and sprinkle on top of the almost ready quiche.

8. Finally, arrange the tomato slices on top of the quiche and you are ready to go.

9. Bake at  200° C ( 400°F or gas mark 6) for 20-25 minutes or until the quiche stops being wobbly when you give it a shake. The top should be a golden colour and you should see the quiche shrink a tiny bit and leave the side of the dish enough for you to slide a knife into.

10. This quiche will provide 8 starter portions or 4 main portions. I serve with a simple salad or my favourite, Indian sweet mango chutney.

Variations on this recipe

a. For eggplant lovers: I substitute eggplants for mushrooms. The first layer is sauteed onions. Then thinly slice 1 medium eggplant and  grill until well cooked. This is your second layer. Skip the spinach but follow the rest of the recipe as is.

b. For pizza lovers: This version is inspired by the regular old pizza. The vegies get swapped for sundried tomato, capers, olives and bits of feta. The order of ingredients going  into the dish is as follows. The crust, sundried tomatoes, capers, olives, crumbled feta, egg mixture, breadcrumb mixture. You can tuck a few basil leaves under the egg mixture for extra flair. If the leaves stick out of the egg mixture, they will get really crisp or burn so beware.

c. For blue-cheese lovers: This is a recent variant on the recipe as I had some blue cheese in the fridge. I chopped up eggplant and zucchini (also found in aforementioned fridge) into 1cm pieces and sauteed them for a good 15 minutes until properly cooked. This went on the crust followed by crumbled blue (Blue d’Auvergne was my choice) and some sundried tomatoes. Then the egg mixture and finally the bread-crumb mixture as mentioned before.

Let me know which one you like. The Mediterranean one is definitely a hit in our home !!

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