The Base is BOSS

This is my favorite quiche recipe—Italian Spinach Sausage Pie. I discovered it the first year I was married and I was still interested in impressing him with my cooking ability. Wait…no I was just trying to figure out how to be a wife—he already knew I could cook.

Anyway, I have modified the recipe a multitude of times, and the only reason I can do that is: because the base is boss!

I said—The base is boss!
OK, what is the base?
I’m glad you asked…the base of this recipe is the pie crust-bottom only, the eggs, the ricotta and mozzarella cheeses (salt and pepper are in almost every recipe so…they are a given).

After that, you can add just about any meat and veggie combo you want. Believe me. I have and they have always turned out great!

Sometimes I just call this: my clean out the fridge meal.

Got leftover rotisserie chicken and the mixed veggies you had with it?
Use them.

How about some leftover ham and a bag of frozen broccoli?
Mmm, use that.

Some spinach you intended to use in a salad but never got around to making it? How about some kielbasa you’ve had in the freezer for a year?
Yep, that will work

All you need is to do a little prep, mix it with the base and you have a great meal.

Take the chicken off the bone and chop it into small cubes. You’ll need the veggies-minus any liquids that have accumulated at the bottom.
Dump, bake and eat.

Thaw the broccoli, cook wring out any liquid-their will be quite a bit (see the Spinach video for what to do with the liquid). Cube the ham.
Dump, bake and eat.

Thaw the kielbasa and cut into cubes. Hmmm, the spinach—that is one you can’t just dump in as is. You’ll need to steam it and wring out the liquid.
Here’s how:

Then…you guessed it: DUMP, BAKE and EAT.

Here is a getting-fancy-with-the-leftovers recipe for my Mediterranean Quiche.
This recipe SEEMS like it might be hard, but as long as you can measure, brown, mix, chop, squeeze, and use your oven…it’s not hard

16oz bag of spinach steamed and water wrung out
Leftover rotisserie chicken cut into cubes
5 Eggs*
3/4 cup of ricotta cheese
5 cups slow moisture mozzarella shredded cheese + you can change the cheese to go with your flavor profile/what you have on hand
1/4-1/2 cup of cheese for finishing**
1 10-inch pie crust*
a handful of kalamata olives-chopped
8oz chopped baby portobello mushrooms*
1 can artichoke hearts
1 qt of cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced*

Preheat oven to 375°

Start by dealing with the spinach-you can do that part the night before if that’s easier.

Add a little olive oil to a skillet and brown the mushrooms over medium to high heat, stirring occasionally. While the mushrooms are cooking, drain and chop the artichokes.

After about 5 minutes, when the mushrooms are close to being done, add the minced garlic to the skillet. Cook for an additional minute or so. Add the cubed leftover chicken, artichokes, olives, and some cut-up tomatoes. Cook for an additional couple minute until everything is warmed through and have released some water and imparted flavors onto the other items in the pan. Move away from the heat and let cool a little.

While the mixture is cooking, crack your eggs into a bowl and mix them well. Yes, you could do this in the same bowl you are going to mix everything in, but DON’T.
This is the one lazy tip that saves you from making an egg wash-and using another bowl.

Add all the ricotta, the 5 cups of mozzarella cheese and all the eggs to a large bowl. SAVE THE ORIGINAL EGG BOWL-just set aside, you will use that egg residue later.

Add the dried spinach to the cheese & egg mixture. Mix to break up the spinach and distribute into the cheese mixture.

Add the mushroom mixture. Cut your tomatoes in half, hold back about 6 halves for finishing**. Gently fold the tomato halves into your mixture.

Dump your quiche mixture into your pie crust.

Make the mixture nice and even with the crust. Grab that egg bowl you saved and use a pastry brush/your fingers/a paper towel and brush that egg residue over the exposed pie crust edge, if you don’t have the egg bowl anymore, you can make an egg wash-one egg white and a little water beat together-or I have used olive oil and it works well.

Optional: Arrange the tomato halves you saved, on top of the quiche mixture. And then sprinkle the 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cheese on over the entire thing.

Kalamata olives are a household favorite—my children are definitely part Greek!

Put into the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes. Check and turn at about 20 minutes (about the time you are done washing your dishes/cleaning up your mess) to make sure the middle is done. Check as needed and add foil if you feel like your crust is getting too brown.

Check your center at about 45 minutes and see if a knife comes out clean. NOTE: I have found that no matter HOW much I wring out the spinach I never get all the water out. And due to the watery nature of spinach, you might never get a clean knife. Let the crust be your guide at this point-after 45 minutes in a 375° oven the egg is cooked. If the crust looks a nice brown-not black but a deep brown, your quiche is probably done. Take it out and let it sit under foil for about 5-10 minutes.

The quiche will continue to cook a little and set.

Cut and serve.

*Lazy girl substitutes
EGGS: Buy a carton of egg substitute (no egg cracking/less clean-up) you only need about 1 1/4 cups to use the rest to make eggs for your children when they won’t eat the quiche
Pie Crust: Buy the pre-made kind that you just unroll and put into your own pie pan OR buy the pre-made kind that comes in its OWN pan.
Mushrooms: buy the pre-cut fresh ones.
Minced Garlic: use that stuff that’s already minced and you keep in the fridge.

**Optional just for making things look a little fancy.

Tell me about it!

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