Monday, June 14, 2010

Swiss Chard and Kohlrabi Green Quiche with Goat Cheese and Pancetta

I adapted this recipe from my friend Lucas Louys, a talented cook and aspiring radio host residing in Buenos Aires. His original tarta de acelga calls for a cheese similar to Port Salut and a traditional masa pascualina for the crust. My adaptation incorporates kohlrabi greens, a sweet-tasting complement to earthy Swiss chard. This can be made vegetarian if you leave out the pancetta, which I added because I happened to have some in my refrigerator.

1 bunch swiss chard, stems and leaves separated
1 bunch kohlrabi greens, stems and leaves separated
3 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 oz. pancetta, diced
2 small orange bell peppers, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
3 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1 tbsp dry)
1/2 tsp aji molido (a milder version of crushed red pepper. if you don't have aji, you can use 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or more depending on your taste for spice)
1/2 tsp pimenton
3/4 tsp ground cumin
salt and black pepper to taste
6 eggs
4 oz. creamy chevre or goat cheese log
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
pie crust for 11x13 pan
1/4 cup grated pecorino

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add chard stems. 2-3 minutes later, add kohlrabi stems and boil for 5 minutes. Add leaves and boil 5-10 more minutes, until stems are tender and leaves are cooked well. Drain before chopping finely in a food processor.

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Add onion and saute for 3 minutes. Add carrots and pancetta and saute for 3 minutes more. Add pepper and garlic and saute until onions are carmelized, about 10 minutes. Add chopped chard and kohlrabi greens and stir to combine. Season with spices, salt and pepper. Turn off heat in pan.

In a large bowl, beat 6 eggs with salt and pepper to taste. Beat in chevre and feta cheese. Fold into chard mixture.

Scoop mixture into pie crust in a 9"x 13" pan (Having an aversion to shortening and not finding lard for a masa pascualina at my local grocery store, I used an all butter crust recipe which I'll post if someone indicates interest.) and top with grated pecorino.

Bake in 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes until center is set and crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 8 servings as an entree and many more as an appetizer.

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