Spinach and Bacon Quiche

March 2nd, 2012


1 tart shell made from a standard pastry dough, partially baked and cooled
10 ounces ready to use baby spinach (or about 1 1/4 pounds regular spinach, trimmed and washed)
4 strips bacon
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, split and finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 large eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Put the tart shell on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
To cook the spinach, fit a steamer basket into a large pot.  Pour in enough water to come almost up to the steamer, cover, and bring to a boil.  Add the spinach, cover, and steam jot until soft and thoroughly wilted, about 4 minutes.  Remove the spinach, drain, and run under very cold water to cool it and set the color.
When the spinach is cool enough not to burn your hands, squeeze it between your palms to get out as much moisture as you can; do this in batches, so you can squeeze harder.  Put the clumps of spinach on a cutting board and coarsely chop or thinly slice the spinach.
Put the bacon in a skillet, place the skillet over medium heat, and cook, turning occasionally, until the bacon is crisp on both sides.  Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain, and pat it dry (set the pan aside).  Cut the bacon crosswise into thin strips.
Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the skillet, return the skillet to medium heat, and toss in the onion and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until soft but not at all colored, about 5 minutes; remove from the heat.  Add the spinach and bacon bits to the pan, toss to blend, and add a little more salt and few generous grinding of pepper.
Turn the spinach-onion mixture into the crust, spreading it as evenly as you can.  Whisk the eggs and cream together until well blended and pour into the tart shell, giving the custard a minute to seep around the spinach and settle in.  Sprinkle the top of the quiche with the Parmesan.
Carefully slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is uniformly puffed (wait for the center to puff), browned, and set.  Transfer the quiche to a cooling rack, remove the sides of the pan and allow it to cool and gather itself for at least 5 minutes or so before serving.  

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.