Lightened Spinach, Onion, and Gruyere Quiche

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This is the perfect quiche for anyone who…

  • hates mushrooms
  • doesn’t eat bacon
  • wants a quiche that’s healthy but still has a crust (get out of here with that crustless quiche talk)

I’ve made this quiche three times this year alone and it’s always perfect. It’s great with a glass of orange juice if you’re feeling breakfasty, or next to a simple pile of salad greens tossed in lemon juice and olive oil if you’re having lunch. It’s great warm from the oven or cold from the fridge. It’s even great when you’re sick, I’ve recently learned. I was sick all last week, and while I didn’t have much of an appetite, I still had room for a slice of this every day for lunch. It’s carby enough to be comfort food and flavorful enough to keep me wanting more.

I love this quiche is what I’m saying.

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The recipe comes from Cooking Light, though I’ve made a few modifications, namely:

  • eliminating the mushrooms and the bacon
  • doubling the onion

That second one is actually unusual for me. While I enjoy the taste of onion I find it a little strong, so I tend to halve it whenever recipes call for it. But as I was already eliminating two quiche ingredients, I wanted to make sure this quiche was still flavorful. By doubling the amount of onion and taking the time to caramelize it on the stove before adding the rest of the ingredients, I ensured that the quiche would still have a complex flavor profile–even if the ingredient list was quite simple.

Cooking Light’s modifications make this quiche light (without compromising flavor) in a few different ways. Egg whites are substituted for some of the eggs, 1% milk is used instead of whole, and they cut back on the half and half.

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My favorite modification about this, though, is the crust. Made with flour, water, salt, pepper, and olive oil, the crust is thinner than the typical quiche crust but it still tastes like a decent crust–and it’s sturdy enough to support the quiche. This isn’t a crust that will crumble and fall apart at the first sign of trouble. You can pick up a slice and eat it like pizza if you want to. I think that’s probably frowned upon in some circles because quiche might be too fancy for such shenanigans, but I won’t tell if you won’t.

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Spinach Onion (Light) Quiche

Makes one 9-inch quiche.

Source: Adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp and 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp and 1/4 tsp pepper, divided
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup and 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 tbsp ice water
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 2 tsp fresh thyme)
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated

Combine the flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and the baking powder in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the water and the 1/4 cup olive oil. Drizzle the oil mixture into the flour mixture and stir until a dough forms. Knead for one minute and press the dough into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chil in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface; roll until the dough is a 12-inch circle. Carefully transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie dish. Line the dough with foil and use pie weights (or rice, beans, or–if you’re me–a small pan) to weigh down the dough. Bake the crust at 425 degrees for 12 minutes or until the edges are golden. Remove the weights and the foil; bake for an additional two minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Saute the onion with the 1/2 tbsp olive oil over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the onions are translucent and caramelized brown. Add the chopped spinach and saute for two minutes or until the spinach wilts. Let stand 10 minutes and drain excess liquid (which I do by squeezing it out with my hands. I don’t know if there’s a less hands-on way to do this, but my way certainly works).

Whisk together the milk, half-and-half, eggs, egg white, thyme, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.

Now we assemble. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the crust; top this with the spinach and onion mixture and the other half of the cheese. Pour the milk and egg mixture on top of this. (I’m not sure why it has to be done this way? It all kind of rebelliously intermingles as soon as I add the eggs anyway.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until the filling is set in the center. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into it.

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2 thoughts on “Lightened Spinach, Onion, and Gruyere Quiche

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