It is strange to find such beautiful zucchini in December, but Italy is becoming more and more like America with their greenhouses and all-seasonal vegetables. Of course December zucchini has a different consistency and a lot less flavor than summer zucchini, so it works perfectly for a quiche where the zucchini are cooked into the pie and you aren’t looking for a particular crunchiness like you would for a pasta.
This quiche is a lot like a quiche lorraine, with swiss cheese and ham, but I find that just about any dish needs a vegetable, and this pie requires a veg to cut the heaviness of the cheese and the egg, so zucchini are the perfect neutral vegetable for a quiche like this.
- 1 package of puff pastry (try to find a puff pastry that is round and not rectangular)
- 4 medium zucchini
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 cup of grated swiss cheese
- 1/2 cup of cream cheese
- 1/4 cup of grated parmiggiano reggiano
- 2 or 3 slices of ham, cut very thin
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and left whole
- 1 tsp of nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Wash and thinly slice zucchini into round medallions. Heat oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat and add the whole clove of garlic. When garlic starts to sizzle add the slices of zucchini. Sauté zucchini over high heat for about five minutes or until they start to brown, lower heat to a medium flame. You need to make sure to turn the zucchini frequently so that they don’t burn. Turn off the heat when the zucchini are perfectly browned and cooked through. Let cool.
Arrange your puff pastry in the pie pan and sprinkle the grated swiss cheese at the bottom of the crust, place the ham slices on top of the cheese and then add the zucchini.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks into separate bowls. Add cream cheese, parmiggiano reggiano, nutmeg, salt and pepper to the bowl with the yolks. Beat the egg whites until they peak, and with the same mixer, mix the yolks with the cheese until well blended. Fold the egg whites into the mix and pour on top of the zucchini in the pie crust. Set the pie on the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the eggs are cooked through.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Can be also be served at room temperature.