If you eat with your eyes, you will love this beet beauty. It is basically a crustless quiche, filled with color and flavor. I got the original recipe from Martha Rose Shulman at the New York Times. Don’t you love her articles? She provides so much education on how to handle food. It’s like having a mentor.
For this dish, Martha Rose provides is an impressive foundational recipe that you can get creative with. Tweak it in ways that fit you palate and addictions. The recipe below is one such tweak.
Besides the color and flavor, I love that both the tops and the roots of the beet go into this dish. It is so easy to use one in a recipe and then forget about the other. If the other happens to be the tops, they do not keep that long.
Part of the color magic comes from having more than one color of beet. I used golden, red, and rosy chioggia beets for the dish in the picture. Since the recipe calls for two pounds of beets and beets usually come in one pound bundles, you can get two different colors. If you grow beets, consider a row of mixed varieties.
This dish is wonderful when first baked but it is also delightful as a leftover. Serve it chilled or at room temperature. Take a slice for lunch along with baby greens and a dash of fruity vinaigrette. Your lunch companions will certainly be jealous.
Beet Quiche Ingredients
6 slices bacon
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 small white onion, finely minced
Tops from 2 pounds of beets, washed, stemmed and chopped
2 pounds beets, roasted, peeled and sliced into discs
3/4 c milk (or half and half for richness)
2/3 cup grated Swiss cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream for garnish
Beet Quiche Steps
Fry the bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Remove the bacon to a plate and break it into crumbles.
Check the bacon grease. If there seems to be too much for cooking the vegetables, pour some of the grease off.
Saute the garlic for about 30 seconds and then add the onion. Saute for about 2 minutes and then add the beet tops.
Toss the beet tops until they are all wilted and bring green and then remove the skillet from the heat. Hold the tops while you get the egg mixture ready.
In a large bowl mix the eggs, milk, cheese, bacon crumbles, salt (about 1/2 teaspoon), and pepper. Gently stir in the greens. Add the beets, ever so gently. Be careful not to break the beet discs. Do not mix so much that all the colors start blending.
Pour the mixture into an oiled 2 quart baking dish. If you have an attractive one, use it! This dish sits so beautifully on the table that you will want to take advantage of the opportunity.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes. Remove your quiche from the oven when the top just begins to brown. Let the dish rest for about 15 minutes before serving. This little bit of cooling causes the quiche to set up so that you can cut it into firm pieces.
Garnish with a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt and get ready for some excitement at the table.