A few days ago, I was standing in my kitchen, seriously lacking in inspiration as to what to make for dinner. I knew I wanted something breakfasty, but I also wanted mexican, which I could eat eight days a week. I love to cook, and I really enjoy getting creative in the kitchen. Sometimes that love of creativity takes me to strange places. So I decided to make a quiche, but with a mexican flair. Then I remembered that I had a bowl of leftover roasted root veggies cooling it in the fridge that should also be used up. So I decided to go ahead and incorporate those in, too. I’m nothing if not efficient.
Scanning the cupboards, I noticed the neglected bag of masa harina flour that I hadn’t opened in weeks. I bought it to make tamales and homemade tortillas, both of which I’ve tried (and both of which were a success, if I can brag for a minute) but hadn’t had much inspiration in that department since. I decided to take a major leap of faith and make the crust for my quiche out of masa, rather than flour. There were no guarantees that it would turn out good, but that’s me – a risk taker in the kitchen.
Masa Harina is a great product. I absolutely love it. A lot of people are intimidated by the thought of using it to make tamales or tortillas or mexican style casseroles, but it is a surprisingly versatile product that is easy to work with, not to mention delicious. I’ve started substituting it for many things that call for flour, as gluten doesn’t always agree with me. The crust for the quiche turned out fantastic – crunchy on the edges, and dense on the bottom. Using vegetable stock instead of water and a little grated parmesan and black pepper really brought out the depth of the masa and gave the crust a deep, savory flavor.
This quiche sounds complciated and fancy, but it’s super easy to make. I topped mine with a quick and easy avocado salad and a substantial amount of sriracha (I’m a hot sauce addict). Give it a try; you just might love it!
Roasted Root Veggie Quiche with Masa Harina Crust (topped with Avocado Salad)
1 1/4 cups masa harina flour
1 cup hot water (or heated vegetable broth, which is what I prefer)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan or pecorino cheese
salt and pepper to taste
In a medium sized bowl, add the heated water/broth a little at a time to the masa until a soft dough forms. You want it to be a little wetter than biscuit or bread dough, but not as wet as cornbread batter. Kind of an in between stage. Once the dough is at desired consistency, add the salt, pepper, and cheese, stirring to combine. Let the dough rest for a few moments. Grease a round baking sheet with a little vegetable or coconut oil. Add the dough to the pan, pressing to coat the sides and bottom of the pan evenly. Poke a few holes with a fork into the bottom of the dough and bake at 350 degrees for ten or fifteen minutes, or until the sides of the crust are crispy and barely browned. Take out of the oven and let rest.
1 parsnip, cut into chunks
4-5 stalks of asparagus, cut into pieces
1 carrot, cut into pieces
1/4 cup chopped portabella mushrooms
1 large shallot, diced
1/2 sweet potato, cut into chunks
1/4 cup chopped broccoli stalks
1/4 cup zucchini, cut into chunks
1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
4-5 large eggs
splash of milk
2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
shredded cheese (I used three kinds: parmesan, chipotle cheddar, and monterey jack. Use your preference. Everything from feta to gouda to Swiss would be fantastic. How much you use is up to you.)
In a large baking dish, liberally coat the chopped vegetables with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and herbs. Season with salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes or until fork tender. Set aside to cool.
In a medium sized bowl, beat eggs together with milk. Add salt and pepper to taste and a generous handful of cheese; whisk together.
Layer the vegetables in your pre-made quiche crust, then pour egg mixture over the top, making sure it is evenly coated. Add more cheese to the top (your preference on how much. I went for the gusto).
Bake at 300 degrees for about 35 minutes or until the eggs are set. Take out of the oven, drizzle olive oil on top, sprinkle a bit more cheese, and put back in the oven for an additional five minutes. Trust me, this sets it off. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
The Avocado Salad:
1 medium sized avocado, diced
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
splash lime juice
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and allow to chill in the fridge for a half hour so the flavors incorporate.
To finish, cut yourself a generous slice of quiche and top with the avocado salad, and if you’re like me, a dab of sour cream and tons of delicious, spicy sriracha. You’ll breathe fire, but it’ll be oh so good. The crust is nice and crunchy, but the bottom is tender and chewy, almost reminiscent of cornbread. The eggs are cheesy, the veggies sweet and savory, and it all just goes so perfect together. Nom.