Tomato Basil Quiche

 

Tomato Mozzarella and Fresh Basil Quiche for a Crowd

 

This is a great recipe for a brunch crowd.  It is baked in a 9 by 13 inch pan and uses puff pastry for a showy, easy crust.  It can be made the night before and re-heated before serving.  If you need a dish to take to pot luck, this quiche can be baked in a disposable tinfoil pan.

This quiche is inspired by insalata caprese, the classic Italian salad of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil that is drizzled with good olive oil.  To keep the moisture from tomatoes from ruining this quiche, the tomatoes are first roasted.  You will love the full flavor of the roasted tomatoes throughout this quiche.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus another 1/4 cup for finishing top of quiche
  • 10 plum tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling over top of quiche
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 and 3/4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 and 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded whole milk mozzarella
  • 1 (16) ounce container of fresh mozzarella packed in water
  • 1 cup chopped green olives
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped chiffonade style ( in thin strips), reserve 1/4 cup for decorating the top of the pie

Thaw 2 puff pastry sheets.  Roll one large enough to fit in a 9 by 13 inch baking dish.  The crust should cover the bottom and the sides of the pan.  Dock the dough all over with a fork (poke holes).  If using a disposable tinfoil baking pan, be careful not to poke holes in the pan.  Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit until barely golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Remove from oven.  The crust will have shrunk and won’t have a pretty edge.  Roll out the other puff pastry sheet to 13 inches by 8 inches.  Cut into 4 strips, 2 inches wide and 13 inches long.  Press 2 strips along the long edge of the baking pan to create a pretty edge.  Trim the remaining 2 strips to 9 inches long and press them along the short ends of the baking pan.  Use the remaining pastry for some other use or discard.

For the roasted tomatoes:

Wash tomatoes and cut in half lengthwise.  Remove the core and seeds.  Place the tomatoes cut side up on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Drizzle olive oil over tomatoes.  Sprinkle them with salt, pepper and sugar.  The sugar helps to bring out the beautiful tomato flavor.

Roast, uncovered in a 450 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 30 to 40 minutes.  The tomatoes should be fairly flat, most of the juices gone and slightly browned on the edges.

Chop half the tomatoes to use in the filling.  Reserve the other half for decorating the top of the pie.

For the filling:

In a large mixing bowl, beat 8 eggs with the broth and cream until well blended.  Add seasonings and mix to incorporate.

To assemble:

Scatter half the shredded cheese on the bottom of the baking dish.  Spread the chopped olives evenly over the cheese.  Scatter the other half of the shredded cheese on top of the olives.  Scatter the tomatoes evenly over top of the cheese and olives.  Add the basil evenly.  Pour the filling over all and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese.

Arrange thin slices of the fresh mozzarella over top of quiche.  Add the remaining roasted tomatoes.  Scatter the reserved basil.  Salt with good quality sea salt and lightly drizzle olive oil over all.

Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 and bake for an additional 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown on top and set in middle.  A knife inserted in the center should come out clean.  Keep an eye on the crust.  If it begins to brown too much or too fast, cover the edge of the pan with tinfoil.  Gently cover only the crust with the foil, leaving the top of the quiche exposed.

Can be served hot, cold or at room temperature.  If re-heating, heat in 350 degrees Fahrenheit for at 30 to 40 minutes.

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