Karin Calloway

Food columnist for The Augusta Chronicle.

Karin: Quiche yields ham, vegetables, cheese with every forkful

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If you’re tired of sandwiches, soups and salads for lunch, this week’s Spinach, Ham and Cheddar Tart will be a welcome lunchbox change of pace.

Spinach, Ham and Cheddar Tart  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Spinach, Ham and Cheddar Tart

It’s basically a hearty quiche that’s good served at any temperature, for practically any meal.

The filling includes diced ham, which is browned in the skillet for added flavor, and a couple of handfuls of fresh baby spinach that is cooked until it’s wilted.

Quiche filling is an eggy custard, and this one gets added creaminess from the addition of cream cheese. The filling of this tart is not only a bit unusual but it’s also topped with a combination of chopped pecans and Parmesan cheese for a savory crunch.

This tart can be served immediately or reheated in the microwave, and the crunchy pecan topping really takes it over the top.

If you don’t have a tart pan with a removable bottom, you can bake this in a standard pie pan.

Pick up a fruit salad from the produce section of the supermarket to complete your meal.

SPINACH, HAM AND CHEDDAR TART

1 round of homemade or store-bought pie crust dough

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup diced ham

2 tablespoons peeled, finely chopped onion

1½ cups fresh baby spinach leaves

3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1/3 cup half-and-half

3 eggs

¾ cup cubed sharp cheddar cheese

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch ground nutmeg

½ cup chopped pecans

¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Fit crust into a tart pan with a removable bottom, trim crust and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ham and onion and saute until ham begins to turn golden around the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted.

Place the cream cheese into a bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until light and creamy. Beat in the half-and-half, eggs, salt, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg. Add the spinach mixture and the cheddar. Stir to combine and spread in the prepared crust. Sprinkle with the pecans and Parmesan and bake until filling is set and crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Set aside for 10 minutes before slicing.

Makes 6-8 servings.


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