Broccoli, Pancetta & Pecorino Cheese Crustless Quiche

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We have four chickens at our property here in Umbria, which usually means that we collect three or four freshly laid eggs each day. In order to keep my egg supply under control in my refrigerator, I am often making a big frittata or quiche that will use up a bunch of my eggs, and any vegetables I need to use up as well. A quiche like this one is very easy to make, and can be enjoyed at breakfast, or with a salad at lunch. I used broccoli and onions in this version, but you could use any cooked greens, mushrooms, zucchini as you prefer. In order to keep things simple and to create a more rustic quiche, I kept this quiche crustless. I didn’t have to fuss with pastry, and instead simply oiled a springform pan, then sprinkled breadcrumbs all across the bottom and up the sides.

In Umbria, Pecorino cheese is very popular, and I combined a soft, mild, young Caciotta cheese, along with the usual aged Pecorino Romano for extra flavor. I also picked a handful of fresh herbs from my herb garden, and diced up some smoked pancetta from my refrigerator and created this very tasty crustless quiche. I always prefer homemade breadcrumbs to store bought, but this recipe works best with finely ground very dry crumbs. In place of the cheeses I chose to use, an Asiago, Fontina, or mild Provolone could replace the Caciotta, and Parmesan or Grana Padano could replace the aged Pecorino Romano.

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My four laying hens…..Rosie, Lucy, Penelope & Katie

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Freshly laid eggs!

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Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2014

Broccoli, Pancetta & Pecorino Cheese Crustless Quiche

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil, Divided

1/3 Cup Finely Ground, Dried Breadcrumbs

1 Small Onion, Finely Chopped

4 Ounces Finely Chopped Pancetta or Bacon

1 Medium Head Broccoli, Cut Into Florets

2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Both Basil & Parsley

8 Ounces Grated Caciotta Cheese (See Notes Above)

3 Ounces Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

5 Large Eggs

1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream

1 Cup Whole Milk

Salt & Pepper


Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Use 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to grease a 9 inch springform pan, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the bottom and sides.

Blanch the broccoli florets in lightly salted boiling water until tender, drain and set aside.

In a frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat, then cook the onions and pancetta together until the onions are tender and both the onions and pancetta are lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions and pancetta and sprinkle over the bottom of the springform pan.

Break up the broccoli with your fingers, and distribute it evenly over the onions and pancetta along with the chopped herbs.

Sprinkle the Caciotta cheese over the broccoli.

In a bowl, beat together the eggs, cream, milk, Pecorino Romano cheese, salt and pepper.

Pour the egg mixture carefully over the vegetables and cheese, then bake until the center is set and the quiche is lightly browned, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.