Swiss chard and bacon quiche, a summer favorite


G. and I planted Swiss chard on a whim last summer. We had pulled up our green beans and had some extra space, and then we were at the Chicago Botanic Garden and saw some chard there. We thought it was pretty with its pink, yellow and orange stalks, so we bought some and put it in the ground.

Then I had to figure out what to do with it.

Since it’s like spinach, I thought I could use it in quiche, and you can, but I went through several recipes before I found a good one. Most were too runny because they didn’t properly anticipate how much moisture would come from the chard. The one I use now is almost solid egg, with just a bit of yogurt and milk added. The chard keeps it from drying out. It also includes bacon, which G. loves.

In fact, he’s been requesting quiche this summer, showing a sea change in attitude from our early days together. The first time I served him quiche, he made some comment about men not eating quiche and how I shouldn’t mention it in front of his friends. Now he thinks of it as a convenience food since I can make it when I’m at his house and he can eat the leftovers for lunch for a week.

The recipe I use came from Local In Season. I make it with yogurt, but LIS says you can use sour cream too. I also use a deep pie pan since the quiche is hefty, and I worry about it spilling over.

Also, the recipe calls for “salt and pepper to taste.” I’ve been reading Kathleen Flinn‘s upcoming book for a review, and she notes that novice cooks are often perplexed, if not downright intimidated, by directions that call for salt and pepper to taste. I certainly was.

Kathleen addressed the fear in her cooking class by presenting her students with three bowls of broth. One was unsalted, one was heavily salted and one was salted to her assistant’s taste. The students found the first bland, the second too salty and the third tasty. So, Kathleen said, that’s the answer. If it’s bland, add salt but don’t add so much that the dish is too salty.

I find a couple twists with a salt mill is enough for me, and sometimes I don’t add any because the bacon is salty. But, G. and I don’t generally use a lot of salt, so you might want more. Add it until the quiche suits your taste, and if you find that example helpful, you might want to check out Kathleen’s book when it comes out in October. It has a lot of helpful tips.

Swiss Chard and Bacon Quiche

8 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1 clove garlic, minced

4 strips bacon

2 ounces soft cheese, such as brick

1 bunch Swiss chard

Pinch nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

1 pie crust

Cook bacon in a skillet and cut in pieces.

Wash chard and cut into strips. Cook chard and garlic in bacon grease until greens are wilted.

Shred cheese.

Toss bacon, chard and cheese together and place in pie crust.

Mix eggs, milk, yogurt, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Pour into pie crust, mostly covering chard mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

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