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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Rainbow Chard Quiche with Sausage Ricotta and Polenta




Serves 6



I think Rainbow Chard is one of the most beautiful plants. It is simply astounding how a plant can grow with such vibrant, contrasting leaves and stems; the puffiness makes them so adorable that if I were to grow them, I would use them to create floral arrangements. They look as if someone deliberately painted on their colors. I have wanted to try chard for the longest time…

A few nights ago, I finally tried it. I sauteed the leaves with garlic and onions and ate it along with some rice. It was similar to spinach, but rather surprising, not as green (or grassy) tasting as I thought it would be; quite mild-in fact.

 The original recipe belongs to my grandmother Elsa as many of them do, but I substituted the meat, cheese and vegetable with other; Elsa always baked everything that she could from scratch, especially pie crust. You could switch out many quiche ingredients and come up with a variety of flavors. I don’t bake pies often, so I used a cake pan (what I have on hand).  Plus, I purchase an already made, uncooked pie dough shell that taste terrific. I followed the directions on the box for folding the edges down; folding the dough edges gives the pie more support, kind of like the way a retention wall holds up a hill of earth. Even after, the quiche was baked and firm, by making the edges snug and stronger against the pan, the crust didn’t fall apart on me. As you can see in the photo, I am not the best folder or Pincher, but I got the job done. Also, the cake pan was rather high, so the quiche looks more like a deep pan pizza. The dough was rather thin to work with around the edges because of the height of the pan, and I wanted to keep it off of the filling. The package that I purchased had two pie shells; I guess I could have got more creative and cut strands from the second dough to make a fancier edge; Maybe next time. Regardless, it was so yummy! If you are new to pie shells, and purchased a store bought one, there will be directions for securing the edges, but don’t press the dough down to hard, or it will stick to the pan and break when you go to slice it; just be gentle!


Ingredients

  • 1 unbaked pie shell
  • ¾ cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup cooked polenta (I purchased precooked polenta and towel blotted it dry.)
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil
  • ½ cup sausage, skin removed and crumbled
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups Rainbow chard, rinsed, and towel blotted (Omit the larger parts of the stem and save for stews or soups.)
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • ½ cup milk 
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 3 large eggs

Directions

Place a thawed, cool, room temperature pie shell in a 9” baking dish. Sprinkle half of the cheese onto the bottom of the pie shell; next crumble polenta on top of cheese and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the polenta. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute onions, garlic, sausage and seasonings in a large preheated skillet (with oil and butter) over medium-high heat; stir frequently until it begins to brown. Toss in chard and continue to cook until wilted. Remove from heat and spoon it over the cheese; using a fork, gently shift the cooked ingredients around to distribute evenly. In a large bowl, whisk milk and flour until combined. Whisk in ricotta, and then the eggs; continue beating a few seconds until incorporated. Pour egg mixture over the cooked ingredients. Using a fork gently wiggle the ingredients until the egg mixture has covered everything. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees then remove from the oven and top off with tomato slices; reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake for another 30- 35 minutes depending on your oven. Remove from the oven when it starts to brown and a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the quiche cool somewhat so it is easier to remove a slice. The first 10 minutes of baking, I covered the pie edges with foil because I didn’t want it too brown as I will be re-heating the leftovers in the oven again. Serve warm (It also taste good cold.)
This quiche was tasty with just enough firmness. Want to grow it? See the video here.

 
How to Grow Swiss Chard -- powered by ehow

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