Realizing I had almost a full dozen eggs in the fridge that I hadn't been using, and a head of broccoli, I decided to combine the two into a quiche or frittata. It's been a while since I made a quiche, so I couldn't remember offhand what I use for a crust. I was going to dig through my recipes but then started thinking about some tahini samples I recently received from Sesame King. I remembered reading that tahini is similar to nut butters and thought hmmm ... crust / butter / tahini ... what would happen if I replaced the butter in the crust with tahini?
It worked out great! It added just the right touch of garlic, and a slightly nutty flavor. Although, I do have to admit that there were a few small spots on the outside edge of the crust that turned out on the tough side where I hadn't rolled it out thin enough. I'm notorious for two things in the kitchen - misjudging the size of whatever bowl I'll need to use, and not rolling things out thin enough. What can I say? I'm a work in progress.
My favorite pie plate is a 10" glass plate, so that's what I used for the quiche. You can see that I didn't have quite enough dough to let me do a scalloped, crimped, or otherwise "fancy" edge on my crust. Of course, not rolling it out thin enough also contributed to that, but you might decide to use a 9" pie plate instead - up to you, but if you do, you might want to reduce and broccoli and/or ham a bit so you don't overflow.
1 1/4 c flour
1/4 t salt
1/4 t baking powder
1/3 c Garlic Tahini
1 med onion, chopped
1 T butter
salt and pepper
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
6 lg eggs
3/4 c heavy cream
1 crown of broccoli
1 1/2 c shredded cheddar
1 c diced cooked ham (I used a small ham steak)
- I made my crust in the food processor, but you could certainly do it by hand, using a fork or pastry cutter to incorporate the tahini - or use your stand mixer. In either case, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder to combine, then add the tahini until a sort of crumbly or sandy texture is achieved. Scraping down the bowl as necessary, add water, first 2T, then 1T more at a time, until it pulls together into a dough. Roll out between sheets of waxed paper, then transfer to greased/sprayed pie plate. I like to peel off the top layer of waxed paper, then pick the crust up by the bottom layer - center it in the pie plate, then peel off that layer. Set aside.
- You want to plunge the broccoli into boiling water for about 30 seconds to blanch, then run under cold water until cool - just to take that raw crunch off of it. If you plan to include the stalks in your quiche, give those an extra minute or so. If not, you can drop the whole crown in the boiling water if you plan to discard the stalks (easier to handle in one piece). If you want to use the stalks in a salad or something (raw), chop them off first but still leave the florets in large pieces. Break down the cooled broccoli into small pieces and set aside.
- Chop the onion and saute in the 1T butter until translucent. Add the crushed red pepper, season with salt and black pepper, and continue to cook until the onion starts to brown - remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and heavy cream, seasoning with salt and pepper. I'm not one to use a whole lot of salt when cooking, but I do go heavy on the pepper. In this case, you want to make sure to taste your ham to see how salty it is before deciding how much salt to use here. Stir in the cooled broccoli, diced ham, onion, and 1 c of the shredded cheddar. Pour the mixture into your crust and top with the remaining cheddar.
- Bake at 350 for 45-60" until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. The time will vary depending on which size plate you used, how true your oven runs, whether you're baking in glass or metal, etc. Let sit for about 10" before diving in.
I thought it was pretty cool using the tahini in the crust. Aside from the flavor it added, it's nice to know (at least for someone in a Mediterranean or Near/Middle-Eastern household likely to have tahini on hand) that you have a new substitute for butter in your crust if you run short. Now that I know it works, it will be interesting to play around with different flavors in other applications. :)