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This kale recipe doesn’t disappoint. With few ingredients you can make this quiche, serve it for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner and it is an absolute winner. Also no one can tell there is kale in the quiche.
When anyone says quiche, the first thought is usually Quiche Loarraine. And rightfully so as it is the royalty of quiches. But let us understand that a quiche can be anything you like. Its a great way to use up leftovers, hide vegetables to feed kids and also looks very elegant to serve if you’ve got guests coming over. Not to mention it is a great dish to take to someones house for a meal.
A quiche is a French recipe consisting of a short crust pastry base that has a savory custard filling. This custard includes a mixture of eggs, cream/milk, seasonings and veg/meat. Sometimes it is baked with cheese as this gives it a golden brown colored top. Now that we have understood what is a quiche let us look at how its made.
The pastry base for the quiche can be blind baked or sometimes, the recipe doesn’t blind bake it. For this recipe we will be blind baking the quiche. This ensures no soggy bottom, a crisp and golden pastry crust making for a clean slice once its cut. It holds the baked custard well without crumbling or breaking apart.
The filling is essentially a kale soup that is blended, I add raw eggs into the cooled soup and combine it well before pouring into the blind baked pastry and baking again until the custard has just set, where the center has an inner thigh wobble and the sides are more firm to the touch. It is worth mentioning here that I used some of the best kale I could get my hands on (Smartacres UAE). So I am not going to lie, a kale soup that’s beaten with eggs and baked does not sound appetizing. But you just have to trust me on this kale recipe.
So when I was making the recipe I wanted to make something that a kid would eat even though it is green in color. I had no idea or a reference on where to begin but I wanted to also retain the health element.
I started by sweating the onions and garlic in some olive oil. Once they were soft I added some herbs and a bay leaf. I added the kale, stalks and everything and continued to sweat the mixture until the leaves had calmed down and wilted a little. I added a tablespoon of flour and stirred it around until everything was coated well. Then I added some milk and stirred well until there were no lumps, cooked this for a couple of mins, added cheese and seasoned with white pepper and salt.
Now is the time I blended the gleaming green mixture until it was smooth. I wouldn’t bother straining the mixture as the little fibre is good for you. At this point you have a delicious soup that you can enjoy as it is (If you were to make a soup though, I would recommend using less flour in the initial stages of cooking) I left it too cool before beating the eggs into the soup. Poured the mixture into the blind baked pastry case and let the oven do the trick.
Let us talk about pastry for a hot second. I like to make my own at home as it is super easy to do it. You need to keep in mind the ratio of flour to butter to water which is – 2 : 1 : 0.5. This will allow you to make a good short crust pastry anytime. However, today you can buy really good pre packed short crust pastry dough from your supermarkets. The pastry MUST be blind baked and I am not shouting when I say this but you will be extremely pleased with the final result if you blind bake your pastry dough. You can’t use puff pastry here it is not the same thing.
Let us understand a couple of substitutes that you could use incase you don’t have a specific ingredient, they are:
Kale – yes it is a kale quiche if you remove the kale its not a kale quiche anymore but you could use spinach or Swiss chard here. You might need to cook it for a shorter or longer amount of time depending on what leaves you use.
Olive oil – any oil works here but try to use olive as it add a lovely flavor to the equation.
Cheese – I’ve used a sharp cheddar here that has matured but you could use parmesan as well or any grated cheese. I would recommend staying away from the melting/soft cheeses like brie and mozzarella.
Herbs – I’ve used dried oregano and thyme but rosemary and sage would work well. You can use fresh herbs too.
Milk – the milk creates a white sauce of sorts with the flour mixture, I have used full fat milk here and I added a little water but you could add skimmed or low fat if you prefer it.
Flour – Ideally you need to use all purpose flour here but corn flour also works fine.
For the Pastry base:
The flour, butter and water can be substituted with a variety of ingredients but I would stick to a classic short crust pastry base here. As it could a little tricky to achieve if you substitute the ingredients and haven’t made pastry dough often.
The quiche stores well once cooled, sliced and transferred to air tight containers. These containers can last in the fridge for 3-4 days. If you will be storing it longer, transfer to the freezer for upto 2 weeks. When ready to serve let it come to room temperature and heat it in the microwave for 1 minute. Nothing longer as it could split.
Also this quiche can be served warm or cold. I like serving it with a side salad and some cherry tomatoes. I have made a crispy bacon and toasted walnut topping to add some crunch to the luscious quiche. Enough talking, let make some quiche. Happy baking ninjas!
- Food processor
- Rolling Pin
- Cling film
- Baking paper
- Baking dish (9 inch)
- Chopping board
- Stock top (medium)
- Sauté pan (small)
Short Crust Pastry
- 250 gm Flour
- 125 gm Butter fridge cold
- 65 ml Water ice cold
- Pinch of salt
- 200 gm Kale roughly chopped
- 1 Onion large
- 4 Garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp Thyme
- 1 Bay leaf
- 2 tbsp Flour
- 150 ml Milk
- 75 gm Cheese grated
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp Pepper
- Salt to taste
Optional - Bacon Crumble
- 4 strips Bacon diced
- 2 Garlic cloves thinly slices
- 3 tbsp Walnuts roughy chopped
- Pinch of pepper
To make the pastry -
- In a food processor pulse the flour and cold butter until fine breadcrumbs. Add the water tablespoon at a time and keep pulsing until a dough forms. Wrap in cling file and leave to chill for 30 mins in the fridge.
- Alternatively you can make this with your hands by rubbing the flour and butter together until you achieve the breadcrumb consistency. Add the water as suggested and form a ball. Don’t knead it like you would with bread.
To make the filling -
- In a large stock pot on medium heat start by sweating the onions and garlic in some olive oil.
- Once they are soft and translucent add the herbs and bay leaf, stir.
- Add the kale, stalks and everything. Continue to sweat the mixture until the leaves have calmed down and wilted a little.
- Add a tablespoon of flour and stir it around until everything is coated well.
- Reduce the heat and pour in the milk , keep stirring to avoid lumps. Cook this for a couple of mins, it will thicken.
- Add the cheese and season with pepper and salt.
- Blend the mixture until smooth and leave to cool.
- Add the eggs into the mixture and beat until combined.
To make the bacon crumble topping -
- In a small sauté pan on low heat fry the bacon until lightly crisp. Add the garlic and continue to fry until crispy and browned.
- Remove from the pan and in the same bacon fat fry the walnuts. Add into the bacon mixture and season. Set aside to cool before using
To assemble -
- Roll out the pastry dough to 1/2 inch thickness.
- Using the rolling pin transfer the dough into a 9 inch baking tin/tray and cut off the excess pastry dough.
- Poke holes into the dough with a fork (docking) and place a large sheet of baking paper on top of the pastry dough, fill with lentils/legumes/baking beans (this is blind baking).
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180℃ for 20 mins until the pastry has colored lightly and is dry to the touch.
- Remove the dried legumes/lentils/baking beans and the baking paper. Pour the kale mixture into the pastry shell and bake the quiche for 35-40 mins until the center is wobbly and the sides are firm to the touch.
- Leave to cool for at least 2 hours in the fridge before slicing. If you are serving it warm then let it cool down at room temperature before slicing and serving.
- Serve a slice with the crumble topping, either warm or cold.
- Don't forget to dock the pastry dough before baking.
- Also blind baking is important. Don’t be lazy as this will help the quiche hold its structure.
- Use a good blender to mix the filling well. To ensure it is not lumpy. You can use a strainer to remove the fibre or any lumps if there are any. Be patient when you are blending it as it will become smooth once blended well.