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Dinner Tonight! | Second Helpings

The Long-Grain Quiche

June 19, 2002|CHRISTY HEDGES | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Who says a quiche needs to have a pastry crust? I took some leftover cooked rice--which I always seem to have in the refrigerator--and fashioned a crust to make this variation.

A rice crust is lighter than pastry, and it won't become soggy like a pastry crust might. The rice becomes crusty and golden as it bakes, forming a nice, crisp contrast to the creamy interior of the quiche. Meanwhile, tarragon adds a different flavor.

Serve this with a garden salad tossed with baby red tomatoes and a glass of Chardonnay.

*

Chard Quiche With Rice Crust

Active Work Time: 30 minutes *

Total Preparation Time: 1 hour

Soppressata, a dry Italian salami, can be found at well-stocked supermarkets.

Butter, for preparing pan

1/4 pound soppressata, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil, optional

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups chopped Swiss chard leaves

Salt

2 cups cooked rice

2 tablespoons butter

1 1/4 cups shredded Gruyere cheese

4 eggs, slightly beaten

3/4 cup whipping cream

3/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Butter a 9-inch quiche pan.

Fry the soppressata in a heavy skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove and reserve. In the same pan, cook the onion in the fat rendered from the soppressata until transparent and golden, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the onion and reserve along with the soppressata. If all the fat from the soppressata is gone, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the minced garlic, cook about 30 seconds, then add the chard and a dash of salt. Cook quickly over medium heat until just slightly wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside with the soppressata and onion.

Place the rice in a bowl. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a very small saucepan, pour this over the rice and mix. Pat the rice inside the quiche pan as evenly as possible to make a crust. It is easiest to moisten your fingertips so the rice will not stick as you line the quiche pan. Place the reserved soppressata, onion and chard evenly over the inside of the rice shell. Sprinkle the cheese on top.

Combine the eggs, cream, milk, tarragon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a bowl and beat thoroughly. Pour slowly over the vegetables and cheese in the shell.

Bake 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake the quiche until just set in the center, about 25 to 30 more minutes. Let rest a few minutes before slicing.

8 servings. Each serving: 310 calories; 625 mg sodium; 163 mg cholesterol; 21 grams fat; 11 grams saturated fat; 15 grams carbohydrates; 15 grams protein; 2.12 grams fiber.

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