Kale used to be nearly impossible to find where I live, except for during a few months in the summer when the farmer's market was open. Now it's a year round staple (yay!), but I haven't been able to shake the urge to stockpile it whenever I come across it. Especially lacinato kale (or black kale, or Tuscan kale, or dinosaur kale, whatever you want to call it), which is my one true love of the kale family. No disrespect to good old curly kale, but the leaves of lacinato kale are slightly sweeter (or slightly less kale-y, in a good way) and are perfect in salads, stir-fries, pastas, soups, and, yup, in quiche.
To be honest I'm more of a frittata girl in the every day, because why bother fussing around with pastry if you don't need to? But then every time I DO bother fussing with the pastry I'm like, oh yeah, this is why.
This time I made a kale quiche with a spelt flour crust, and I think that the slightly sweet, slightly grassy flavor of spelt complements the kale perfectly. If you don't have the time (or the desire — no judgement) to make your own pastry you could either buy a frozen pie crust (we won't tell) or skip the crust altogether and simply butter your pie plate and sprinkle with bread crumbs to help separate the quiche from the plate. But if you do make the pastry, do yourself a favor and double the recipe so you can toss half in the freezer for next time.
Then, bring together all the glory of summer — kale, corn kernels, and cherry tomatoes, with fresh eggs, milk, and a nice sharp cheese. You'll have yourself a kale quiche that's great at any time of day, can be served at room temperature, and makes for a great packed lunch. What's not to love?
For the spelt pie pastry:
- ¾ cup whole grain spelt flour
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine-grain salt
- 1 stick ½ cup / 113 grams cold butter, cut into cubes
- 3-4 tablespoons ice water
For the kale quiche:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ small red onion finely diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 bunch lacinato kale de-stemmed and sliced into ribbons
- ½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 8 eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain salt
- ¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
To make the spelt pie pastry:
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with an s-blade combine the spelt flour, all purpose flour, salt, and cubed butter. Pulse the food processor several times, until the butter is roughly the size of grains of rice. With the food processor running add the ice water one tablespoon at a time. You want the pastry to be starting to pull together, but it should still be quite crumbly at this point. Stop the food processor and see whether it holds together if you squeeze it in your hand. If yes, you're done. If no, add one more tablespoon of water.
- Tip the pastry out onto the counter top and bring it together with your hands. Form it into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the pastry for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
To make the kale quiche:
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface, and carefully transfer into a 10-inch tart pan. Press the pastry down, crimp the edges, and prick the bottom with a fork.
- Place the empty pie crust into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until it is just golden brown. Remove the pie crust from the oven and allow it to cool slightly.
- Reduce the oven heat to 375°F.
- While the pie crust is blind baking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the onion is just translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Add the ribbons of kale, and sauté for 3-5 minutes, until it is beginning to wilt. Add the corn kernels and sauté for 2 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.
- Scatter the kale mixture into the prepared tart shell and spread it into an even layer. Scatter ⅔ of the shredded cheese over the top of the kale, followed by the cherry tomato halves. Pour the egg mixture carefully over the top, and shake the tart pan to distrbute evenly. Scatter the remaining cheese over the top.
- Place the quiche into the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, until it is golden brown on top and the center is set (doesn't jiggle too much when you shake the pan).
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.