Celebrate the spring season with our veggie pie, despite the weather.
Today is the first day of spring. Say what? OK, the weather belies it.
Celebrate the season anyway with our spring pie, a quichelike affair with many of the fine vegetables of springtime.
I know — the word “pie” stops a lot of you. It’s not the filling, it’s the crust. This one has the most foolproof of crusts. If you can grind up three slices of bread, you have the crust.
If you prefer, cancel the bread- crumbs and use your favorite pie crust or buy a preformed one.
“Quiche” still stops some of you. I, too, read the book “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche” by the chronicler of all things masculine, Bruce Feirstein. I joined millions of men boycotting quiche for years. It was our testosterone talking.
(Bruce later apologized for the quiche libel, but it was too late.)
His 1982 epic sold in the tens of millions, and its title was repeated by countless comics on TV and wiseguys in fancy eateries. It was one of the last gasps of men asserting their masculinity. Today, that’s considered sexism.
Call it pie
So just in case you never got out of your leisure suit, we’ll call it a pie, which is what quiche is in English. Well, not quite. It can mean cake in French, but nobody’s writing about that.
Our pie recipe calls for feta cheese, a Greek mixture of sheep and goat milk. Feta will stay composed in baking and does not melt. The more traditional “quiche” cheese is Swiss or Monterey Jack, the premier melters.
Spring pie has different flavors in each bite as you chance upon the randomly strewn vegetables. Feel free to substitute whatever you have in your crisper or freezer.
Try fresh dill instead of the parsley if you can find it.
One serving of this and you needn’t worry about your vegetables for the day. Vegetarians note: It survives without the bacon.
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot, cut diagonally
1 cup broccoli or cauliflower, sliced into florets
3 scallions with green tops, chopped
1/2 cup bacon, fried, crumbled
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
4 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon thyme, dried
Black pepper to taste
1 cup bread crumbs, fresh
Heat oil plus 3 tablespoons water in large skillet. Add the carrots and broccoli or cauliflower and sauté, covered, over moderate heat until just softened. Stir in scallions and sauté for another minute. Stir in peas, parsley and bacon, remove from heat.
Page 2 of 2 - Combine beaten eggs in separate bowl with milk, feta and thyme. Stir into the skillet mixture and add pepper. Oil a 10 inch pie pan. Line the bottom with half the crumbs and pour in the vegetable mixture. Top with the remaining crumbs. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 375 degrees or until set and top golden. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.