Roasted Tomato, Spinach and Cheese Mini Quiches

I’m not sure if this happens to everyone or just to me, but about twice a month I get a craving for a dish, or a food in general, and can’t stop eating it. This month it’s tomatoes, so why not make a savory summer quiche featuring roasted cherry tomatoes?

What makes these tomatoes so wonderful-tasting is that they are roasted in a kind of garlic-balsamic vinaigrette, and go so well with spinach it’s almost like a fresh summer salad tucked into warm cheesy pastry.

You can do many variations of these quiches, and add many different things to them, so feel free to use this recipe as a basic starting point for all of your other inventions!

(Makes roughly 8-10 mini quiches if using 3- to 4-inch tartlet pans; roughly 20 if using smaller tartlet pans; and one large 9-inch quiche)

Equipment:

Ingredients:

  • 1 box frozen and thawed puff pastry sheets (used in the pictures; 2 sheets come in a box and you will need both) or 1 to 2 frozen and thawed pre-made pie crusts (*tip: a pre-made pie crust, while good for 9-inch quiches can also be used for small tartlet pans. Simply take the pie crust out of the tin shell and make into a ball. Then roll out dough with a rolling pin and use for tartlets. If you want to use pre-made pie crusts for this recipe for the tartlets, you’ll need 2 frozen and thawed crusts)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • Dash nutmeg
  • Onion powder or small handful of chopped red or white onion
  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes (approx.)
  • 4-6 oz. cotija cheese, crumbled (this is a milder version of feta, but feta could also work)
  • Large handful of spinach leaves, coarsely chopped (arugula could also work)
  • Handful of pine nuts
  • 2 Tbl. olive oil
  • 1 Tbl. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 minced garlic cloves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut cherry tomatoes into quarters (I did this, and it’s what you see in the pics, but you can also just leave the tomatoes whole)

Stir together olive oil with balsamic in a large bowl. Season with a little salt and pepper and add minced garlic. Toss in tomatoes, then spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 25 min. or until the skins are split and shriveled and the tomatoes start to show signs of roasting (a bit golden). Remove from the oven and cool.

While tomatoes cool, roll out the puff pastry or pie dough to a thickness of about 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch on a well-floured surface. Line your pans with the dough (* tip: always line the pans with about an inch of dough past the height of the pans’ edges, since the dough will shrivel while cooking). Place tins on a baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use.

Whisk heavy cream and eggs in a small bowl until well-blended. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and onion powder (if you want to add other spices/seasonings, do this here). Pour mix into a measuring cup or glass with a spout.

Sprinkle a layer of chopped spinach onto the bottom of the tartlets. Then sprinkle a layer of crumbled cotija cheese (if you want to add onions, do this here). Snuggle cherry tomatoes into the spinach and cheese. Pour the cream/egg mix into the shells, making sure to pour AROUND the tomatoes. Fill each shell no more than 3/4 full, since it will puff and rise as it bakes. Sprinkle each tartlet with pine nuts.

Bake the mini quiches for about 40 min. or until the filling is puffed and SET. The top, or at least the edges, should be a deep golden color.

Take out and let cool. Can be served warm or at rm-temp. Keeps about a week well-covered in the fridge. Re-warm, or leave at at rm-temp. before eating.

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