By Heidi Allison
This crazy-easy recipe bypasses the time-consuming steps traditional quiche recipes call for— no chilling and rolling out a tricky, flour-based pastry shell, simmering, then cooling the heavy cream before adding it to the eggs, straining the egg mixture through mesh sieve to remove lumps, or cooking the quiche in a water bath to maintain a consistent low temperature, or straining the egg mixture through a mesh sieve to remove lumps. In this dish, just blend eggs and labneh in a Ninja Bullet, then pour the mixture over a roasted butternut squash “crust”, top with crumbled feta, sun-dried tomatoes, Greek olives, Greek seasoning and a few leaves of torn swiss chard or spinach —that’s it! This dish keeps in the fridge for 1 week, so you can serve it for Sunday brunch, or, nibble on it all week for a fast breakfast.
In this recipe, conventional heavy cream is switched out for labne, a Middle Eastern keifer cheese product similar to Greek yogurt, but thicker, creamier and less tangy. This rendition should be prepared at a lower temperature—300 degrees F — instead of the traditional 325 degrees F (Thomas Keller’s recipe) or 375 degrees F (Julia’s Child recipe) for traditional quiches. This versatile recipe can go many directions, so play with it — Hatch or roasted New Mexican chilies and shredded Mexican cheese blend works great for a Southwestern flavor profile, or sautéed mushrooms, caramelized leeks, shredded Gruyere cheese and fresh thyme is a nod to French cuisine. Do not forget to wrap outside of the spring form pan with foil—the roasted squash crust is not as air-tight as a pastry shell, and it will leak a bit at the bottom.
This dish reheats well in a toaster oven at 350 Degrees for 8-9 minutes if cut into quarters.
1 small butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise
12 organic eggs, room temperature
1 cup labne (about 1/2 an 8 oz. container), room temperature
1/2 tsp. Kosher flake salt
3.5 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
3 leaves Swiss chard, ribs removed and torn into large pieces
4 kalamata olives, pitted
5 sun dried tomatoes (optional)
1 tsp. fresh, chopped oregano
1/2 tsp. Greek seasoning
Preheat toaster oven to 350 and add squash to a foil-lined baking sheet. Cook for 50 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
Place aluminum foil around the outside of bottom and up the sides of mini, (6-inch long and 3-inch high) spring form pan. Reduce toaster oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Scoop flesh from squash into a bowl. Spray inside bottom and sides of the interior of the spring form pan with olive oil spray. Break 12 eggs into the large (32 oz.) Nutri-Ninja bullet container and add labne and salt. Blend on ultra speed for 1 cycle. Let rest for several minutes, then blend once more on ultra-blend cycle. Pour egg mixture into mini spring form pan and top with cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, oregano, Greek seasoning and Swiss chard pieces. Lightly spritz top with olive oil spray.
Place quiche on a foil-lined baking sheet and into oven and cook for 50 minutes. Test center of quiche with a 12-inch long bamboo skewer or long toothpick to check for doneness—should come out clean with a slight wiggle in center of quiche.
Remove and cool down to room temperature in a wire rack, then place in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours to set. Cut into quarters for brunch serving and place into a preheated 350-degree F toaster oven to for 6-8 minutes to heat. If slicing into 1/4-inch slices as a topping for avocado toast, place in microwave for 4 seconds to warm before packing on top of avocado toast.