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Swiss Broccoli Quiche: A Delightful Dish Combining Swiss Tradition and Flavor

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Switzerland is known for its diverse and hearty cuisine, often influenced by its neighboring countries: Germany, France, and Italy. Swiss dishes often reflect a harmonious blend of these influences, resulting in delightful culinary creations that are both comforting and sophisticated. One such dish that epitomizes this blend is the Swiss Broccoli Quiche. This savory pie, with its creamy filling and rich flavors, makes for a perfect meal any time of the day.

The History and Origin

Quiche is a savory custard pie that originated in the Lorraine region of France, but it has been embraced by Swiss cuisine, particularly in the French-speaking areas. Traditionally, quiche Lorraine contains bacon and cheese, but various versions have evolved over time, incorporating different vegetables, meats, and cheeses. Swiss Broccoli Quiche showcases the versatility of the dish, combining fresh broccoli, Swiss cheese, and a creamy custard filling, all encased in a flaky pastry crust.

Ingredients

To make a classic Swiss Broccoli Quiche, you will need the following ingredients:

For the Pastry Crust:

  • All-Purpose Flour: 1 1/4 cups (150g)
  • Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cold Unsalted Butter: 1/2 cup (115g), cut into small cubes
  • Cold Water: 3-4 tablespoons

For the Filling:

  • Broccoli: 2 cups of small broccoli florets (about 1 medium head)
  • Olive Oil: 1 tablespoon
  • Onion: 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, minced
  • Eggs: 4 large eggs
  • Heavy Cream: 1 cup
  • Whole Milk: 1/2 cup
  • Swiss Cheese: 1 cup of grated Gruyère or Emmental cheese
  • Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Black Pepper: 1/4 teaspoon
  • Nutmeg: 1/8 teaspoon, freshly grated

Recipe

Step 1: Prepare the Pastry Crust

  1. Combine Flour and Salt: In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt.
  2. Cut in Butter: Add the cold, cubed butter to the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Add Water: Gradually add the cold water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing gently until the dough starts to come together. Form the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Step 2: Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Broccoli

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Blanch Broccoli: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and blanch for 2-3 minutes until they are bright green and slightly tender. Drain and set aside.

Step 3: Prepare the Filling

  1. Sauté Onions and Garlic: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  2. Whisk Eggs and Dairy: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, and whole milk until well combined.
  3. Add Seasonings: Stir in the grated Swiss cheese, salt, black pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg.

Step 4: Assemble the Quiche

  1. Roll Out Dough: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Carefully transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart pan or pie dish, pressing it gently into the bottom and up the sides. Trim any excess dough.
  2. Blind Bake Crust: Line the crust with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Blind bake the crust in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and weights, and bake for an additional 5 minutes until the crust is lightly golden.
  3. Add Filling: Spread the sautéed onions and garlic evenly over the bottom of the pre-baked crust. Arrange the blanched broccoli florets on top. Pour the egg and cream mixture over the vegetables, ensuring it is evenly distributed.

Step 5: Bake the Quiche

  1. Bake: Bake the quiche in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the filling is set and the top is golden brown. The quiche should be firm in the center and slightly puffed.
  2. Cool: Remove the quiche from the oven and let it cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing. This allows the filling to set completely and makes it easier to serve.

Serving Suggestions

  • Accompaniments: Serve Swiss Broccoli Quiche with a simple green salad or a bowl of soup for a well-rounded meal. It also pairs well with roasted vegetables or a fresh fruit salad.
  • Brunch: This quiche is a perfect addition to a brunch spread, alongside pastries, fresh fruit, and other breakfast favorites.
  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat slices in the oven or microwave before serving.

Variations

  • Vegetables: Feel free to substitute or add other vegetables such as spinach, mushrooms, or bell peppers for a different flavor profile.
  • Cheese: While Gruyère and Emmental are traditional Swiss cheeses, you can experiment with other types like Cheddar, Fontina, or even a soft goat cheese.
  • Crust: For a lighter option, you can make a crustless quiche by simply omitting the pastry and baking the filling in a greased pie dish.

Conclusion

Swiss Broccoli Quiche is a delightful and versatile dish that brings together the rich culinary traditions of Switzerland. With its creamy, cheesy filling and tender broccoli florets, this quiche is sure to please both vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. Whether served for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, Swiss Broccoli Quiche is a delicious and satisfying meal that celebrates the best of Swiss cuisine. Embrace the flavors of Switzerland in your kitchen and enjoy this wonderful dish with family and friends.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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