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Scallion & Cheese Quiche Recipe - Quiche di Cipollotti e Formaggio

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This scallion and cheese quiche is a tasty spring treat. You'll need fairly large scallions, with bulbs about the size of golf balls, and with firm fresh green shoots. If the shoots have wilted the dish won't work. The recipe also calls for primo sale, a very fresh soft cheese similar to a mild creamy ricotta. We instead used caprino, a soft, spreadable goat's milk cheese with a sharp goaty tang, that contrasted quite nicely with the sweetness of the onions.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • For the crust (you can also purchase a pie crust)
  • 1 4/5 cups (180 g) flour
  • 1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon (90 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • For the filling:
  • 2 large bunches of scallions with firm, leafy green tops, weighing about 1 2/3 pounds (700 g) in all
  • 6 ounces (150 g) mild creamy ricotta (or caprino; see above)
  • A scant cup (250 ml) whole milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Butter and flour for the pan
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 cups dried beans

Preparation:

If you are making the crust from scratch, sift the flour with a pinch of salt, then cut the butter into it and work everything with a pastry cutter until you obtain a fine-grained, crumbly mass. At this point add the egg yolks, 2-3 tablespoons of water, and work the mixture just until you obtain a firm dough that holds together. Shape the dough into a ball, cover it with plastic wrap, and chill it for a half hour.

Preheat your oven to 400 F (200 C).

Roll the dough out into a thin sheet (if you are instead using store-bought crust begin here), and use it to line a greased, floured 11-inch (28 cm) pan, bringing the dough at least 1.5 inches (3 cm) up the sides of the pan. Line the pan with oven paper, fill it with dried beans, making sure they extend up along the sides as well, and bake the crust in the oven for about 20 minutes.

While it's baking, wash the scallions, trimming away the roots and the tips of the leaves, then cut the leaves off where they turn green and set them aside. Put the leaves in a large skillet, with the scallions on top of them, and sprinkle everything with the oil, a pinch of salt (pepper too if you like), and a couple of tablespoons of water. Bring the scallions to a simmer and cook them for 20 minutes, or until they're nicely fork-tender, then remove them from the pan to a plate and cook the green parts of the leaves until they are tender too. Add them to the scallions.

When the crust is done, remove it from the oven, remove the beans (you can keep them in a jar for the next time you do something like this), and let it cool. Combine the eggs and the milk in a bowl and beat until well mixed, seasoning the mixture with pepper and salt to taste.

Dot the bottom of the crust with the cheese, lay the scallions and their leaves over the cheese, and then pour the egg mixture over everything. Return the quiche to the oven and bake it until the egg mixture is well set, another 20-25 minutes, and then let the quiche rest for 15 minutes before serving it. It's equally good hot or warm, with a rich white wine.

A couple of observations: If you have a springform pan, it will be much easier to get the quiche out of the pan and onto the serving dish. Also, you could do this with artichokes (see instructions for preparing artichokes). Figure at least a couple of pounds of them, and sauté them with a little garlic and some parsley, both minced.

Yield: 4-6 servings scallion and cheese quiche.

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