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Ham and Vegetable Non-Traditional French Quiche

This recipe was inspired by a 1980 Pillsbury Bake-Off winner, which used crescent rolls as a crust and only had zucchini and onions in the filling. But the mustard painted on the crust is genius and the filling does not have the heavy cream that makes most quiches so high in calories. So I began playing with the filling adding ham and veggies and the Herbs de Provence spices. I also used a traditional pastry crust that I learned in a cooking class at the Alliance Francaise de Chicago, it’s a very simple quick flaky crust that tastes much better than the crescent rolls, I think.

The hams, cheeses, and veggies you put in this quiche are entirely up to you. Whatever you have in the house will work great.  I have used ham, Canadian bacon, traditional bacon, and prosciutto all tasted wonderful.  For the veggies you could add or substitute anything you really like in my list below including: bell peppers, mushrooms or leaks. And this is the perfect chance to clean out the cheese drawer.  I normally plan that half the cheese in the recipe will be mild like a mozzarella or Swiss and the other half will be stronger like smoked Gouda, Irish cheddar, or even a flavored herb cheese. I have been wary to use blue or goat cheese mostly because my family does not have my love for chevre fromage that I do but if you love it go for it.

Crust:

1 cup all purpose flour

6 tbsp softened butter

¼ cup water

Ham and Vegetable Non-Traditional French Quiche served with fresh tomato slices.

¼ tsp salt

2 tbsp Dijon Mustard

Filling:

4 oz ham or bacon, cubed

1 medium onion, chopped

2 small zucchini, chopped

1 cup broccoli, chopped

1 handful spinach, chopped

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp Herbs de Provence

3 eggs

3 cups of mixed cheeses grated

Salt & Pepper

Start by making dough, I like to use the food processor it’s fast and easy but you can do it by hand. Mix the salt, flour, and butter together either by hand or in the food processor. Then slowly add water until a soft slightly gummy dough ball forms. If it’s too sticky add more flour.  

Next roll the dough out with a rolling pin on a flowered surface so that it is about 2 inches larger than your quiche pan.  Spray the quiche pan with non-stick spray before you put the dough in it. This dough is pretty fragile so carefully lift it into the pan, using the rolling pin for support. If you are a skilled pastry person make a pretty crust, if you are like me celebrate that the dough made it in the pan without any holes and attempt a pretty crust.

Next you will spread the 2 tablespoons of mustard onto the bottom and half way up the sides of the crust. Set the pan aside and start on the filling.

On the stove heat a pan with a drizzle of olive oil and add the diced ham. Brown the ham then add all the veggies except the spinach. Once the veggies are softened add the butter and spices to the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the fresh spinach. Set the pan aside. In a bowl mix 2.5 cups of cheese with the 3 eggs. Then mix in the veggie mixture and stir well. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Be careful with the salt, the cheese and ham have a lot of salty flavor already.  Pour the veggie mix into the pastry crust. Sprinkle the last of the cheese on top and sprinkle with some more Herbs de Provence or other green herb for color.Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.  I cover the crust with foil to keep from burring for the first 20 minutes then remove the foil ring for the last 20-30 minutes to brown the crust. (I have to admit I forgot the oven timer and almost burned this quiche, so I grated a little parm on top to cove it up, sorry.) Allow the quiche to set up for about 5-10 minutes before you slice. I have served this meal for everything from breakfast to dinner. Small slices can be put on a buffet at room temperature and it will still taste great.

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