Spinach, Mushroom and Cottage Cheese Quiche for Easter Brunch
This Easter was especially important to our family because we were celebrating the birth of my nephew and the engagement of one of my cousins. Since our family was hosting the Easter brunch we had a lot of work to do in preparation for the arrival of all the guests which didn’t leave me with a lot of time to make anything too finicky but I wasn’t too worried since every family was bringing a dish or two… or five…
I wanted to prepare a Spring dish, something light with seasonal ingredients and easy to cook and serve. So I decided on a Spinach, Mushroom and Cottage Cheese Quiche. It’s a dish I’ve made many times before but the twist is instead of featuring ricotta cheese I used a mix cottage cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese. I found that the cottage cheese added a layer of creaminess and the mozzarella cheese once baked held all the components of the quiche together. It was also lighter and not as dense and heavy as other quiches I’ve had before. The sauteed leeks added a subtle sweet and mild hint of garlic and onion flavor, letting the mushroom and spinach really shine. A pinch of cayenne pepper really gave it a nice kick too.
I didn’t have time to make the pie crust from scratch so I opted for a store bought refrigerated pie crust (Pillsbury makes a damn good refrigerated pie crust. I blind baked the pie crust first, meaning that I partial baked the pie crust on its own before filling it. This prevents the pie crust from getting soggy once you pour the wet filling into the unbaked pie shell.
The preparation of all the vegetable ingredients is fast and easy. I sauteed the leeks, mushrooms, and spinach, set it aside and let it cool. While it cools, I made the egg, milk and cheese mixture. Folded the sauteed vegetables into the egg mixture, poured the spinach egg mixture into the pie crust, sprinkled with some more mozzarella cheese on top and baked for 40 minutes. It’s fast in preparation and cook time, once you get it into the oven you don’t have to worry about it, and it’s also a great show off dish. It has a lot of flavor and looks like you slaved over it, and let’s be honest here isn’t having your family over a great time to show off a little bit?
Spinach, Mushroom and Cottage Cheese Quiche
adapted from Bonbini
1 9 inch unbaked pie crust
1 tbsp canola oil
1/2 leek, sliced thin
1 cup button mushrooms, sliced thin
2 cups spinach, cooked, drained, chopped
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 teasp salt
1/2 teasp freshly ground pepper
pinch of nutmeg
1/8 teasp cayenne pepper
For the pie crust: roll out pie crust into a quiche or tart dish. Press the edges into the grooves of the pan and cut off excess pie crust. Using a fork, lightly poke holes in the pie crust, do not pierce through. To keep the bottom from buffing and the sides from falling, line the crust with parchment paper and fill it with rice or beans. Blind bake the pie crust for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F.
For the quiche
1. Heat the pan over medium heat and add the oil and leeks and saute until fragrant. Add the sliced mushrooms, cook for about 3-4 minutes until soft but still having a bite. Then add the spinach, and season with salt and pepper. Take off the heat and set aside.
3. Sprinkle some shredded mozzarella cheese over bottom of the crust, pour the spinach mushroom egg mixture into the pie shell. Sprinkle more shredded mozzarella cheese onto the top.
4. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until egg mixture has set. Let stand for another 10 minutes before slicing and serving.