Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spinach Portobello Quiche

Spinach is one of my favorite crops. It's easy to grow and grows fast enough that I can get in several harvests between spring and the end of the growing season. Tonight, I had a bunch of leafy greens in the fridge that were in danger of going slimy. I also had some lovely portobello mushrooms that were calling me to cook them. Finally, I have a son who thinks spinach is slimy, mushrooms are even slimier and quiche is meh. Sounds like a challenge, right?

And I do love challenges. I had to face an even bigger challenge, though. I have never managed to make a decent pie crust. They always come out tough and chewy, which is why I cheat when baking fruit pies. After all, who doesn't love a cookie crumb crust? Unfortunately, that trick was not going to work with a quiche.

Lucky for me, though, I found The Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pie Crust instructions and decided to give it a try. Hallelujah! Easy, peasy, light and breezy - or at least, flaky, fork tender and perfectly delicious. (Also, for the record, still delicious the next morning after a night in the refrigerator!) So, without further ado - the recipe!

Spinach Portabello Quiche Recipe

Pie Crust


  • 3 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c. vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 5 tbsp. ice cold water
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt


  1. In a large bowl, cut together the flour and shortening. The Pioneer Woman recommends using a pastry cutter, which definitely makes it easier, but I did just fine using the traditional two-butter-knives method. Just hold one butter knife in each hand. Cross the blades, hold them almost touching in the flour and start cutting across the shortening. Use the knives like a pair of scissors, crisscrossing back and forth through the flour until there are no large lumps of shortening left.
  2. Dump the egg, water, vinegar and salt into the flour mixture.
  3. With a fork, stir the flour, egg and water together gently. It will be very floury and you'll be tempted to add more water. Don't! When you get to the point where you've got a big lump of floury dough and a lot of pieces that aren't quite sticking together, ditch the fork and start squeezing the dough together. Don't knead it - you don't want to activate the gluten in the flour. Instead, squeeze the dough together into a crumbly ball.
  4. Separate the dough into 3 equal balls. Put each ball into a freezer bag and flatten it slightly with a rolling pin. This will make it chill faster, thaw faster and roll out more easily.
  5. Seal the bags and put them in the freezer for at least 15-20 minutes. They can stay there for up to a few weeks, until you're ready to use them. 
  6. Take a ball of chilled dough out of the freezer. If it's frozen, let it defrost slightly before trying to roll.
  7. Remove the dough from the bag. Dust it with flour and roll it out on floured surface until it is about 1/8" to 1/4" thick.
    • Note: Try this trick I learned from my grandmother lo those many years ago: Don't roll your pie crust out directly on a table or countertop. Instead, lay down a cotton cloth first, dust it with flour and roll out your dough on that. I personally use Flour Sack Towels, which are thin, lint-free and 100% cotton. Yes, the link is an affiliate link - I get a few cents if you like them enough to buy them. These are generously sized - 30"x22"- and you get 12 for $20 (no shipping if you have Prime.) I use them for all sorts of things around the house, from straining cheese to washing windows.
    • And the trick I learned from the Pioneer Woman - roll the dough from the center out - just once in each direction. Don't go back and forth. Turn the cloth a quarter turn and roll from the center out again. Repeat until your dough is the right thickness and size for your pie dish.
  8. Fit the rolled out crust into your pie dish. Crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork.
  9. Lightly prick the dough with a fork all over the bottom and sides.
  10. Bake it in a 350 degree F. oven for 20-25 minutes until it is lightly browned. Let the pie crust cool slightly before filling it.

Spinach Portobello Filling for Quiche


  • 1 large bunch spinach leaves
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large portobello mushroom cap, diced
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 1 c. part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar or Colby cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Clean the spinach leaves and pat them dry (another use for those flour cloth towels!). Chop the leaves into 1/4" to 1/2" strips, including the stems.
  3. Steam the spinach over simmering water for about 5 minutes, or until it is bright green and wilted. Give it a quick rinse with cold water to stop it cooking, and set it aside to strain.
  4. While the spinach is steaming, saute the mushroom and onion in the vegetable oil until the onion is slightly browned and the mushroom is cooked through. If desired, sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Set the mixture aside while you prepare the eggs.
  5. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, ricotta, salt and nutmeg until it is light and slightly frothy.
  6. Spread the shredded cheese across the bottom of the pie crust.
  7. Mix together the spinach and mushroom-onion mixture and spread it over the shredded cheese.
  8. Gently pour the egg mixture over the spinach until it reaches the crimped edges of the crust.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes or until the eggs are just set and the top is puffed and dry to the touch.
  10. Let stand for about 10 minutes before cutting.

No comments:

Post a Comment