Let me tell you about a little girl, a little girl who didn’t like to eat anything. She didn’t like pancakes and she wouldn’t drink strawberry smoothies. She liked fish sticks and mashed potatoes and gravy and a small assortment of other foods. It was pointless offering her something new and different to try because she’d certainly turn up her nose and refuse.
On one occasion she refused to eat a ham and cheddar sandwich for dinner because it had been toasted and the cheese had melted and therefore looked weird. Her parents wouldn’t let her leave the table until she had finished. They went downstairs to watch TV while she stubbornly sat in the dark alone for what seemed like hours. Finally, her desire to join the laughter downstairs prevailed and she tried the sandwich. And you know what? It was good!
Did she learn that experience? Nope. Any guesses as to who the little girl is? I’m sure you’ve figured it out, it’s me. And eventually her mother gave up trying and let me fend for myself. As I grew up I slowly began to expand my culinary horizons. Like most picky eaters, I eventually grew out of most of it. But I think everyone has a few food items that they just won’t eat. Maybe it’s because of a bad experience or may it’s just leftover pickiness and stubbornness.
One such thing for me is peppers. I have always hated them, always avoided anything that included peppers at all costs. They’d sneak into things here and there and my hatred was always confirmed. That is, until it wasn’t. I don’t remember what dish it was, it was maybe sometime last month, and it was like a revelation. Peppers are delicious!
And now I can’t get enough of them. I’m putting them into everything— quesadillas, pasta dishes, salads, skewer kabobs, and even eating them just by themselves. It was only a matter of time before I put peppers in a baked item, and since I already have a goal to bake more savory dishes, everything just fell into place.
Every time I make a quiche I wonder why I don’t make them more often. There are a few steps involved if you make your own pie crust (and you should), but it’s all quite simple well worth the effort. I’m usually unsure about some egg dishes, it’s something else I’m still picky about, but I do love quiches. I love bite after bite of crunchy crust, soft filling, and flavorful vegetables, cheeses and meats.
This quiche has definitely satisfied my recent pepper obsession, at least for now. And it’s got me thinking, what other foods on my “no way” list should I give another shot?
Roasted Pepper Quiche with Spinach and Feta
Crust recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes one 9 inch tart
For the crust:
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into one-inch cubes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold buttermilk
For the filling:
2 cups spinach
2 small peppers (or 1 large pepper)
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or your fingers until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the buttermilk and mix with your hands or a spoon until it comes together into a ball. Add more buttermilk a tablespoon at a time if necessary, but it’s okay if it’s a little on the dry side, chilling will bring it all together.
Divide the dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap. You’ll need one ball of dough for this quiche, save the rest for your next pie adventure! Refrigerate the other half for up to one week or freeze for up to several months. Chill the dough you will be using for at least 2 hours or overnight.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the pie crust into a 11 inch circle and transfer to a greased 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork and line with a greased sheet of aluminum foil. Fill the pie crust with baking beans or pie weights. Chill in the freezer while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Once the oven is ready, bake the pie crust for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes until it just begins to brown.
Reduce the heat of your oven to 375 degrees F.
To make the filling, wash and dry the spinach. Roast the peppers. You can do this over a gas stove or in a 400 degree oven on a foil lined sheet pan for 45 minutes until charred. Place the roasted peppers in a covered container for 15 minutes, then peel the charred skins off with your hands. Do not rinse the peppers as that will wash all the flavor away. It’s okay if a few black bits remain. Cut the peeled peppers in half, remove the juices, seeds, and stem, and thinly slice.
In a medium saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the spinach and toss until it just begins to wilt. Spread the spinach, sliced peppers, and crumbled feta cheese into the prepared pie crust.
In a bowl, whisk together the whipping cream, eggs, salt, and pepper. Pour into the filled crust. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the quiche is set and the top is a light golden brown. Let sit for a few minutes before removing from the tart pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Store in the refrigerator.