If spinach, red pepper and onions enveloped in a silky, cheesy custard sound good to you, then this is one recipe to add to your repertoire. It is basically a crustless quiche. Eggs, egg yolks and heavy cream create a luscious, rich, and creamy texture and you will stop thinking about a crust. (Full disclosure, I am always thinking about the crust, but not this time!)
This quiche or gratin or whatever you want to call it is fast and easy to prepare. Keep it in your back pocket for a brunch or light supper and serve it with a green salad and a glass white wine. You are so elegant!
Tweak it! You could use other vegetables (cook them first to soften them.) Vary the cheese: Gruyere, Gouda, Swiss cheese and Emmental are good choices, to name a few. Add chunks of ham or cooked bacon if you’d like to make it more substantial.
Spinach, Cheddar and Red Pepper Gratin Recipe
Butter (for the pan)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
8 ounces baby spinach leaves
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar (about 7 ounces)
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1. Center a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF. Butter a 9-inch round ceramic baking dish or pie pan. Have on hand a baking sheet and a large strainer.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the pepper and onion are wilted and soft. With a slotted spoon, transfer them to the bottom of the baking dish, spreading them in one layer.
3. Add the spinach to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or just until wilted. If the pan is dry, add 1 tablespoon of water. Set a large strainer over a bowl and transfer the spinach to the strainer. Cool briefly and press out excess moisture with the back of a spoon. Spread the spinach on top of the pepper and onion.
4. Set aside 1/2 cup of the grated cheddar for the top of the pie, and spread the remaining cheese over the vegetables. Set the dish on a baking sheet.
5. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, salt and pepper until blended. Whisk in the cream. Pour the cream mixture over the filling in the baking dish and sprinkle the top with the reserved 1/2-cup cheese.
6. Decrease the oven temperature to 350ºF. Bake the quiche for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden and the center puffs but is still slightly wobbly.
7. Set the baking dish on a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into wedges. Quiche can be served warm or at room temperature.