They're the signs that Spring is here. Beautiful greens, the arugula, the leeks, the spinach, popping up at markets all over. They join the pinks and reds of those lovely spring radishes, which are perfect when cooked up in a copious amount of butter or to even add a peppery crunch to your salad.
Just when you thought you couldn't eat, or even look at another root vegetable, or open a mason jar full of last year's bounty, they appear.
The greens of spring let you know there's hope on the way.
I shouldn't complain. Our winter here in New England was mild in comparison to years past. This week, we've seen 70 degrees several time, in mid-March. I do get fairly excited, however, when I start seeing the early spring offerings pop up at the Newburyport Farmers' Market.
I picked up early spring leeks from Arrowhead Farm (Newburyport, MA) and several varieties of potatoes from Heron Pond Farm (South Hampton, NH). I love Heron Pond's potatoes. They come in a rainbow of colors, from blue, to gold, to red. They go well in quiche.
Simple. That's the point of quiche, right? Look in your refrigerator and if you have eggs, some vegetables, and some dairy, you're good to go. This is an easy, weeknight quiche. It doesn't call for egg separation, no heavy cream, or anything you might not have on hand. It deals with milk, eggs, and cheese. If you're feeling really healthy, ditch the crust. I won't lie, I had some store-bought pie crust in the fridge, and for a quick meal, I never hesitate to grab them. They make dinner, simple.
Potato Leek Quiche
I've called for 1/2 a bunch of leeks. I used early spring ones, and I found using the entire bunch was too much, it will depends on the size of your bunch. Add them slowly to your egg mixture so that you can find the right amount for you.
- 3 small potatoes (any variety will do), scrubbed clean (peel if you'd like, I didn't.)
- 1 9-inch pie crust (homemade, store-bought, whatever)
- 1 cup low fat milk
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (or cheddar, or Swiss, brie would be nice too)
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- dash of ground black pepper
- 1/2 bunch leeks, sliced into 1-inch pieces.
- Place your potatoes into a pot of some variety and cover with cool water until there's about an inch covering them. Place on stovetop, bring to a boil, and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender (about 15-20 minutes).
- Once their fork-tender, drain, and allow to cool enough so you can handle them, slice, and set aside.
- Now, preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
- Grease up a 9-inch pie pan. Roll out your pie dough to about 10-inches and place in your pie dish, folding the excess over, and crimping to your liking. (I'm awful at this.) Prick the side and bottom with a fork.
- Now, place a sheet of parchment paper over your dough, and place several pie weights (or as I do, dried beans), over the parchment in the dish. This will allow your crust to keep its shape in the oven.
- Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Take out of the oven and allow to cool on a baking rack, set aside.
- While your crust is baking, make the filling: combine milk, egg, cheese, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper in a large mixing bowl and beat lightly to combine.
- Finally, add in your leeks, the amount should be to your liking.
- Now, take your pie crust (make sure weights or beans or all out), place your potato slices on the bottom, just enough to cover, and then pour the egg-leek mixture over the potatoes.
- Bake 35-45 minutes. The top will become golden, and 35 minutes will give you a more custardy filling. I baked to about 45, because the husband likes a firmer quiche. It's up to you.
- Slice, and serve alongside a small salad of greens.