Salmon, Fennel and Arugula Quiche
We eat salmon almost once a week because my husband and girls love it! I usually make it on the grill with just olive oil and kosher salt. I have a number of sauces I like to make with salmon, but my daughter Melissa likes it just like it simple and grilled. Because I always buy a whole side of salmon we end up with some leftovers. Sometimes I make salmon omelets, but one day I decided to experiment with salmon quiche and see what happened. It ended up being a great hit and I then made it for my friend, Jodi's, baby shower. So many people asked for the recipe! You can easily make it the day ahead and then just reheat it for a party. If you can't find arugula easily then substitute spinach. If you are trying to be low carb you can skip the crust, but the crust is one of my favorite parts. If you don't like salmon you can substitute chicken. Or if you want to make it vegetarian you can leave out the salmon.
1 12-inch quiche dish or 9 x 11 baking dish
2 batches of butter pastry (recipe follows) or use pastry crust of your choice
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion (about 1 regular size onion)
1 1/2 cups diced fennel (also called anise. If you can't find it, use more onion)
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
pinch of kosher salt or sea salt
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup shredded/grated parmesan cheese (optional)
1 cup milk
5 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or seat salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (0ptional)
1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked salmon (or whatever amount you have left over
(you can substitute cured salmon, lox or even canned salmon if you wish)
1 cup chopped baby Arugula (spinach may be substituted)
1. Make butter pastry dough and refrigerate while you get everything else ready.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Press crust into pie shell. Bake blind (which means to cover the shell with aluminum foil and then weight down the foil with pie weights, uncooked rice or beans. If you don't do this the crust will bubble and will slip down the sides of the pan). Bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remove foil and pie weights.
3. Make quiche filling: In the largest saute pan or pot you own, saute the onions and fennel in the olive oil and butter. Put a pinch of salt on the onions and fennel as they cook and soften. This will make them caramelize faster and taste better (an important tip!) Cook onion and fennel for at least 10 minutes, but even longer is better. (You can cook in the onions and fennel while the crust is chilling and before you bake it blind if that is easier.) Remove onions and fennel from heat and let rest in pan until you need them.
4. In a large mixing bowl combine the feta, parmesan, milk, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the crumbled salmon, chopped arugula and then mix in the fennel and onions.
5. Pour mixture into partially baked pastry crust. Turn oven down to 375 degrees F and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until quiche is set in the middle.
6. Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes before you slice it.
Maili's tips: If making the day ahead, cook completely and then reheart in a 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Butter Pastry for Quiche
My quiche dishes are 11 or 12 inches in diameter, so I need 2 batches of this recipe. Do not double the recipe because the dough will not turn out correctly. Instead make two single batches.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
There are two methods to making this dough: by hand or in a food processor. I will give instructions for both.
1. In a bowl, stir together flour and salt. Add butter chunks. With a pastry blender or two table knives, but butter into flour until you have particles the size of peas.
2. Stir in egg with a fork until dough holds together. With your hands, shape into a ball or flattened disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least one hour.
With a food processor:
1. Place flour an dalt in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse two times to combine.
2. Add very old butter that has been cut into chunks. Pulse until the flour/butter particles are the size of small peas. On a low speed, with the motor running, pour the egg into the feed tube and mix until the dough sticks together. With your hands, shape dough into a ball or 4-inch flattened dish and refigerate for 1 hour.