Guest Author - Vannie Ryanes
It does not matter if it is called a pie or a quiche, this savory spinach and tomato custard pie is delicious and easy to prepare because you start with a ready-made pie crust. Cayenne pepper added to the parmesan cheese top takes this recipe beyond ordinary.
2 cups chopped frozen spinach
1 cup chopped plum tomatoes, usually 2 or 3 small
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
3 tbs Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 pinch of pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 9-inch ready-made frozen piecrust
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Defrost the frozen spinach and squeeze it dry. Place spinach in a large bowl and stir to loosen the vegetable. Add tomatoes, breadcrumbs, basil, salt and pepper to the spinach and blend well. Spread the mixture evenly over pie crust.*
Use a second bowl to mix the eggs and milk, pepper flakes and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Beat mixture until it is frothy and well blended. Pour over spinach mixture in pie crust.
Add the remaining cayenne pepper to the grated parmesan cheese* and blend well. Sprinkle parmesan cheese, remaining cayenne pepper mixture over pie. Bake the pie for 25 to 30 minute or until it is golden brown on top. Insert a knife in the center of the pie, will come out clean when if the pie is done. Be sure to watch the pie carefully, you don't want to parmesan topping to become to dark or burn.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
This recipe is good for lunch or dinner and can be served hot or cold. Nice with broiled salmon or any lightly fried fish. Complete your meal with a simple green salad and a glass of dry white wine or iced tea.
*You can make a crisper crust by slightly baking the crust before adding the pie mixture. Use a fork to prick holes in the crust then place a weight on the uncooked crust to keep it flat while it is baking. A weight can be store-bought 'pie weights' made expressly for this purpose, or make a weight by using dried peas, beans or raw rice. Place a 9 inch round of wax paper in the pie crust then add the weights. Spread the weight evenly and bake crust for 7 to 8 minutes to remove moisture. Take from oven, add pie mixture and bake as usual. If you do use peas, beans, or rice for your weight, do not toss, save to use again. Just place in a clean covered jar.
*If you want your parmesan topping a little spicier add small pinch of cayenne pepper and taste before sprinkling on top of the pie.