Optional Quick Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups (1-inch, day-old) bread cubes, preferably sourdough
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil
- 9-inch glass or ceramic pie pan
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch cayenne or paprika
- 2 to 3 cups prepared vegetables, such as braised leeks, broccoli, sauteed onions, mushrooms, spinach, peppers, tomatoes
- 4 ounces, or about 1 cup grated or crumbled cheese, such as Cheddar, goat cheese, Gruyere, Parmesan, fontina, provolone, mozzarella, Gouda, solo or combined
- 1 to 4 tablespoons minced herbs, such as parsley, chives, tarragon, basil, dill, rosemary, marjoram
- 3/4 cup chopped crisp bacon, diced ham or salami
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, optional, this is good to use with vegetables that release liquid during cooking, such as zucchini and spinach
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For the pan: Brush pan with the soft butter and sprinkle the grated Parmesan evenly on top. Or for a Quick Crust, pulse bread into crumbs in a food processor. Heat butter or oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add bread crumbs and stir until evenly toasted, about 5 minutes. Evenly spread crumbs in a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie pan. Place pan on a baking sheet.
Whisk the half-and-half, eggs and yolks in large glass measuring cup. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, cayenne or paprika to taste. Spread half the desired filling evenly in the pan, top with about half the cheese; repeat with remaining filling and cheese. Pour the custard over the fillings. Top with more herbs or cheese as desired.
Bake until the quiche is just set in the center, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool completely on a rack before serving.
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