Waking up to a quiche that is fresh from the oven makes everyone feel truly and well loved. Quiche and a salad make a great light lunch, and mouth-sized quiche tartlets are the perfect cocktail-hour accompaniment. These days, more and more cooks are creating ricotta quiche both because it is healthier and because the mellow flavor really hits the spot.
While many recipes for quiche call for high-fat melted cheeses like gruyere, cheddar, fontina, or even mozzarella, some cooks look for a way to keep the taste while dumping some of the fat. Enter ricotta quiche. While this by-product of provolone and other cheeses isn’t exactly a skinny Minnie, a delectable quiche can be composed from park-skim versions that offer certain healthy advantages. It packs a protein wallop, and a single serving takes care of over half of the daily intake value as well as solid doses of vitamins A and B-12 in addition to riboflavin, phosphorus, and zinc.
A simple but serviceable ricotta quiche requires only three or four eggs beaten with a little milk and a container of ricotta cheese. Some cooks add a handful or two of grated hard cheese, such as Parmesan or Romano. This mixture, tucked into a pie crust, is ready for the oven quick as a wink. While nothing beats a good homemade pie crust, using a frozen premade version from the grocery store is an acceptable shortcut.
Cooks looking to boost flavor as well as add a little nutritional fiber might add some cooked and well-drained spinach. Mushrooms and gently sautéed onions are another much-loved addition. Broccoli, tiny grape tomatoes, or other veggies are welcome, although the cook should make the effort to press out as much liquid as possible to keep the quiche from getting runny.
Although they can’t be considered health food, other very popular additions include crispy fried and drained bacon, chopped spinach, or cooked ground sausage. Vegetarian alternatives work as well and can add a sausage fragrance and flavor without all the added fat. A completely different spin is offered by the inclusion of crabmeat or shrimp.
In fact, ricotta quiche can shrug off the crust and still be a culinary delight. Crustless versions abound in which the eggs, cheese, and veggies bind themselves together to hold the remaining ingredients warm and safe. These versions, whether they call for asparagus, squash, spinach, or other deliciousness, typically use a few more eggs and might cook a bit longer for the false bottom to form.