Italian vegetable quiche is a tasty combination of spinach, mushrooms, sweet bell peppers, and zucchini baked in a pie plate with no crust. It gets spiced up with lots of dill weed and the result is delicious.
Years ago, when Mary Jo said that she was making Italian vegetable quiche, I quickly turned up my nose and said I’m not eating that! How could anything called “Vegetable Quiche” be any good for someone who wants meat and potatoes all the time. Well that was a long time ago, and when the aromas of the quiche filled our kitchen, I was really surprised. Still leery of the name, the first bite was a revelation. This vegetable stuff is really good. Although we call it Italian Vegetable Quiche, we always have ham in it, (or you could keep it vegetarian without the meat and add imitation bacon to kick up the flavor).
If you’ve been looking at recipes and wondered how things would taste and never tried the recipes, try this one because it is killer and you won’t be disappointed. One recipe will serve four people, each having a little for seconds, (because you’ll want seconds). Serve with a fruit salad, some good bread and white wine.
- ½ lb fresh sliced mushrooms
- 1 medium green, red, or yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 small to medium zucchini, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup cooked ham, diced
- 1 lb ricotta cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 3 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 14-16 oz can spinach, drained and pressed dry as possible
- 1 1/2 tbsp dill weed
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
I told MaryJo that I was going to make this and she got excited. I hadn’t made it in a while. Well in the crazy times that we’re in right now, there was no ricotta cheese to be found in the stores. So…MaryJo bought a gallon of whole milk and set out to make ricotta cheese. I became an interested on-looker.
She put 1/2 gallon of whole milk and 1/4 cup of heavy cream into a small stock pot and put it on the stove and brought it up to a boil and removed it from the burner. Then 1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid gets dissolved in 1/4 cup of water, (vinegar or lemon juice is also used in some recipes). The acid is stirred into the milk and magically, the milk starts to separate into curds, (the ricotta), and whey.
The curds get strained with cheesecloth and the whey, in our case, gets saved for making bread. It’s a win, win recipe.
Bon Appetit magazine has an easy recipe for making Ricotta Cheese.
Saute the vegetables
Start with a good sized skillet and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. I like to add the mushrooms first and let them cook until they release their moisture, which takes 5 or 6 minutes. Then add the peppers and zucchini. Cook them to soften slightly, another 5 or 6 minutes. The zucchini especially does not have to be sloppy soft. It gets baked and finished in the pie plate.
Add the ham and put this mixture in a large bowl and let cool. Once cooled, add all the other ingredients and fold together. Pour into an oiled 9 ½ inch quiche pan or pie plate. Bake 45 to 55 minutes at 350 degrees, until it starts browning on the edges. Let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes, then slice and serve. (You may have too much for the pan, just take another small oven safe container and bake the rest).
Leftovers can be be frozen or reheated in the oven or a microwave.
Try this and I think that you will agree that it is delicious.
Italian Vegetable Quiche
- 6 to 8 oz. button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 sweet bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium sized zucchini, sliced thinly
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup cooked ham, diced, about 8 ounces
- 1 lbs ricotta cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
- 3 lg eggs, beaten
- 1 can spinach, (14 to 16 oz.), thoroughly drained and dried
- 1 1/2 tbsp dried dill weed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a large skillet on medium high heat, add the olive oil and saute the mushrooms until the moisture is release and evaporated, (5 or 6 mins.), then add the pepper and zucchini and cook until slightly softened, (5 to 7 minutes). Remove to a large bowl to cool, 10 mins.
- Once cooled, add the remaining ingredients and fold together. Be sure to drain the spinach well and squeeze as much moisture out as you can. I use paper towels for this.
- Place ingredients into a greased, 9 1/2 inch pie plate, (or similar oven safe container), and place into the oven, 45 to 55 minutes until the edge starts to brown.
- Let cool 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
- Serve with good, crusty bread.
- Leftovers are delicious and can be re-heated in the microwave or frozen.