Fresh eggs, many veggies go into ‘amazing’ Mediterranean quiche

Today, gentle readers, I’ll let you in on a little secret:

I spent most of my life maintaining that I “hated” eggs.

Now, I’ll admit, there were several times in recent years when my resolve started to weaken.

I’d be on vacation, staying at a bed-and- breakfast, and I’d wake up to a delectable aroma, which often meant the hostess or host had prepared some sort of quiche or frittata along with other breakfast offerings.

But no matter how inviting the egg dish smelled, or how appealing it looked, maybe with bright red peppers or bright green spinach, I’d steadfastly stick to my status quo, and say something like, “I’ll just have some of the oatmeal, thank you.”

Then, a few days ago, my 10-year-old friend from Wyoming County, Sarah Lynott, accomplished what all those bed-and-breakfast chefs could not do.

The sweet little girl sent me a dozen eggs, laid by the chickens she is raising. When her dad, my co-worker Jerry Lynott, brought them to my desk, I immediately wanted to use them in a recipe for the test kitchen.

And it wouldn’t have been fair to the eggs to disguise them by putting only one or two into, say, a batch of cookies.

No, the eggs had to have more of a starring role. So I decided to make a quiche, and searched online for one that would have “lots of vegetables.”

Thanks to Cassie Johnston, who posts wonderful recipes on a blog called, this week I had Mark, my mom and, shortly thereafter, several newsroom taste testers all raving about Veggie Mediterranean Quiche — and I really, really liked it, too.

The dish uses feta cheese, Kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, red pepper, onion and garlic (along with four eggs, cheddar and some milk) to give you that Mediterranean feeling.

“It’s a perfect dish for a spring or summer day,” taste tester and editor Roger DuPuis said. “I don’t want to get too dramatic, but it makes you feel like you’re outside on a patio.”

“In Milan?” I suggested.

“Yes, in Milan,” he agreed with a laugh.

Page designer Lyndsay Bartos praised the quiche and my homemade crust, which I’d put together from whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, butter and cold water.

“I like it that you’re always putting whole wheat flour in things,” she said. “It’s like you’re trying in little ways to make us all healthier.”

“I don’t know what all you do,” columnist Bill O’Boyle told me. “But you do it right.”

Page designer Toni Pennello, who enjoys all sorts of quiches, proved to be another fan.

“It was amazing,” she said after trying a piece. “I’d give it a 10 out of 10.”

“I thought the olives really fit in well,” she added, noting she’d never had a “Mediterranean” quiche before.

The least enthusiastic taster was reporter Patrick Kernan who explained that while he likes eggs, quiche is not his “favorite delivery system.” So I gave him a token piece of quiche, which he said tasted good. But, he added, “I’m still not converted.”

OK, then, I guess I’m the only official convert in this story. And I’m certainly looking forward to making this dish again.

If you decide to make it, by the way, you might want to purchase a ready made pie crust. That’s fine. But if you’re going to make your own, here is some advice I followed: Put the raw crust in your pie tin, chill it for half an hour, then cover it with aluminum foil or parchment, fill it with pie weights or dried beans and bake it at 375 for about 20 minutes before you put the filling inside it.

That will make the crust stronger and less likely to become soggy when you pour the quiche filling into it and bake it for the 50-55 minutes the recipe mentions. (Actually, in our home oven, the quiche took less time to fully cook. Within about 40 minutes a knife inserted in the center came out clean.)

Veggie Mediterranean Quiche

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes

Boiling water

1 prepared pie crust

2 tablespoons butter

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, diced

2 cups fresh spinach OR 1/2 cup thawed and squeezed dry frozen spinach

1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

4 large eggs

1 1/4 cup milk

Salt and pepper, to taste (see notes)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided


Place sun-dried tomatoes into a glass measuring cup and pour boiling water over until just covered. Let sit for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft. Drain and chop tomatoes. Set aside. (If sun-dried tomatoes came packed in oil, simply drain them and chop. You don’t have to use the boiling water.)

Preheat oven to 375°. Fit a 9-inch pie plate with a prepared pie crust. Flute edges. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add in the onion and garlic, and cook until just fragrant and tender, about 3 minutes. Add in the red pepper and cook an additional 3 minutes, or until the pepper is just tender.

Add the spinach, olives, oregano, and parsley. Cook until the spinach is wilted (if using fresh) or heated through (if using frozen), about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the feta cheese and tomatoes. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pie crust, spreading out evenly. Set aside.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper, and 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese. Pour this mixture evenly over the spinach mixture in the pie crust. Sprinkle top with remaining cheddar cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the egg is set. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Note: Between the feta, cheddar, and olives, this recipe has a lot of inherent saltiness—season carefully. You can always add more salt at the table, but you can never take it out!

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