Tonight's supper is a fresh green affair!
We've been picking the first of the greens over the past couple weeks. Dinners have been highlighted by salads of delicate Bibb lettuce clusters one night and baby spinach leaves the next. Some have been simple plates of greens drizzled with balsamic glaze and olive oil. Others have been a riff on Caesar salad with slivered purple onion, black olives, along with the shaved cheese and croutons. Another was a spinach salad with bacon and hard boiled eggs chopped and strewn.
It's been one plate of greens after the next and we're lovin' it because we know that sooner or later the deer are going to figure out that we have greens that are plumb browse! That's life in the boondocks, folks. Deer are a fact of life. In the autumn we shoot them for food, but in the spring, we share the bounty and moan when they gobble it down.
This year, we planted tons of greens and had the Bibb lettuce come from lettuce greens that we let go to seed last fall. So our salads are coming from thinning out the beds that we hope to harvest down the line. The herbs are trimmed up or pinched so that the new plants bush out and get more robust. Golly, I love the Springtime!
Today's salad comes from thinning out the dill. Hiel is putting the cucumber plants in today, so I used a hothouse buy to celebrate in anticipation of our own late summer cukes. With a dressing of buttermilk, sour cream and herbs, this will give us great crunch for supper.
Amongst all this Spring reverie, I saw an incredible quiche that was posted on a blog last week.
This quiche is riffin' on the quiche that Sue posted on her tasty spot called The View From Great Island last week. I drooled over her take with sweet onions and herbs and knew it was only a matter of time.
It's time. Period Peace.
My pretty tart has everything but the kitchen sink ... new spinach and Swiss chard, basil, chives, flat leaf parsley, Parmesan, chèvre, and the last of a hunk of Cotija that was kickin' around the fridge. Should be good and tangy! I cannot wait until supper time!
Notice the pie beads? Yes, I do blind bake my quiche crusts so they crisp up nicely on the bottom.
Green Herb Quiche Filling
4 c. fresh baby spinach and chard leaves, washed and spun dry in a salad spinner, coarsely chopped
1/2 medium Vidalia onion, sliced into half moons
2 tbsp. chives, chopped finely
2 tbsp. basil, washed and dried and torn up
2 tbsp. flat leaf parsley, leaves nipped from stems and finely chopped
3 large eggs
3 - 4 egg whites
1 c. half & half
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 c. tangy grated cheese - Cheddar, Cotija, whatever you have
4 oz. chèvre cheese
Making the Quiche:
1. Blind bake a quiche crust in a 12- inch quiche pan.
2. Break the Vidalia up and strew over the hot baked crust. Sprinkle on the chives.
3. Mix the eggs, egg whites, and half & half until thoroughly combined. Add the herbs, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well.
4. Drizzle most of the egg mixture over the onions and chives. Sprinkle on most of the Cotija. Place dollops of the chèvre over top. Drizzle the last of the egg mix over all and sprinkle on the rest of the Cotija.
5. Bake for 35 minutes in a pre-heated 400 degree F oven.
6. Cool and remove from tart pan to a pretty platter.
7. Serve at room temperature or warmed up.
Quick Cucumber Dill Salad
3 tbsp. light sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 tbsp. buttermilk
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
4 tbsp. fresh dill, stems removed and finely chopped
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1. Place everything in a bowl and whisk together with a fork until smooth.
2.Take one large, rinsed hothouse cucumber.
3. Remove the tips and slice the cuke into coins about an eighth of an inch thick.
4. Toss together with the dressing until the slices have been separated and coated with the dressing.
5. Slice a scallion on the diagonal and sprinkle over top. Garnish with edible posies - chives, pansies, nasturtiums, violets or whatever you have in your garden that hasn't been tainted by any pesticide treatments.
6. Chill well and serve.