Island Dish: Quinoa Quiche

by Laura Waters, Snowdon House Gourmet & Gifts – 

Morning chores include the feeding of my chickens and the collection of the eggs. My feathery friends now number 48. After a nasty racoon and mink attack in the summer I lost 25 birds but, armed now with an electric fence to protect my girls, we are back in business.

Twenty-five young birds were purchased and they are now laying eggs, with colours ranging from green, cream, spotted and dark brown. Dr. Seuss was right when he wrote Green Eggs and Ham. I find it quite funny when someone opens a carton of eggs and wonders how one egg is green. Araucanas are the breed of the chickens that lay the green eggs. Kids love them.

The darker and shorter days of winter means we will see a decline in egg production over the next months. A reminder to everyone: farm fresh eggs do not need to be refrigerated – they will keep up to 90 days. In Europe you will see eggs everywhere unrefrigerated. If you ever visit the farm, you will be greeted by chickens that have decided that for the day the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. There are some regular escapees.

Eggs are a simple meal that takes very little effort; they can be served as a main course or easily as an appetizer in small tart shells. They’re my go-to for comfort food, whether they are scrambled, poached, hard boiled or a served as an eggs benedict or in a quiche.

I stumbled upon a recipe using quinoa as a crust for a tart and thought I would modify it as a crust for quiche. The thing I love most about this crust is how when it’s mixed with my farm eggs it is bright yellow: sunshine on a gloomy day! So below follows my rendition. A great way to add extra protein to a recipe is to use quinoa as a crust.

Preheat the oven to 375°.

½ cup quinoa

1 cup water

6 eggs

⅓ cup parmesan cheese

¼ tsp garlic powder

1 yellow pepper, sliced

1 red pepper, sliced

6 mushrooms, sliced

½ red onion, diced

½ cup cream

4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

2 tbsp butter

Place quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce to low, covering and cooking until quinoa is tender and water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat; leave covered for an additional five minutes.

In a medium bowl stir together one egg, parmesan cheese and garlic powder. Add quinoa and stir until mixed. Turn mixture into a lightly oiled pie plate or glass baking dish and press evenly along bottom and up sides. Bake until crust is slightly brown (about 20 minutes). In a fry pan, sautée the mushrooms, onion and peppers until tender. Place in the bottom of the cooked crust with crumbled goat cheese. Whisk together the remaining eggs, add the salt and pepper and gently add the cream. Pour over mixture in baking dish and bake for 30 minutes until done. Cool before serving (about 30 minutes). Lovely served with some hot buttered bread. Enjoy!

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