Arugula Quiche with Ricotta and Lemon

// When I worked at a catering kitchen and bakery a few years back, one of the first jobs I had in the morning was to make all of the quiche and frittata for the day.  Often times it was still dark outside, as the sun had not risen yet, and the kitchen was quiet.  It was my favorite moment of the day.  I would put my apron on, turn on music, and methodically prepare the ingredients. I delighted in coming up with different variations. This quiche was birthed out of those peaceful mornings.  Light and fluffy, with a zing of lemon, this is an elegant addition to any brunch menu.

Arugula Quiche with Ricotta and Lemon

Serves 6-8

For Shortcrust Pastry:

*As found in Good Things to Eat, by Lucas Hollweg

200g plain flour

A good pinch of salt

125g cold unsalted butter

1 large egg

1 teaspoon cold water

For Filling:

14 large eggs

¾ cup heavy cream

Zest of 2 lemons

3 cups arugula

¼ cup ricotta

Pinch of kosher salt and pepper

Sprinkle of maldon salt

For Shortcrust Pastry

In a medium bowl, sift in flour and salt. Chop butter into small pieces and add to bowl.  Using your hands push the flour and butter through your index fingers and thumbs to make sheets out of the butter. Do this until all of the butter is combined.  

In a small bowl, add one egg and water.  Whisk together and then add to the flour and butter mixture.  Incorporate with your hands until the dough begins to form a cohesive ball. Do not over handle the dough. Flatten into a round disc, wrap in plastic wrap and pop into the fridge for at least 30 minutes, do not skip this step!

Remove from fridge, and place on a lightly floured surface.  Roll the dough out to form a large circle that will fit into a 9” round pan 2” deep.  Allow for some of the dough to hang over the edges.  Place the rolled out dough into the dish.  Fold the excess dough under and press.

To create the decorative edges, create a “V” with your index and middle finger. Place on the edge of the crust, and pull the dough on the inside of the “V” towards the center.  Repeat all the way around. Place in the fridge until filling is prepared.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

For Filling

In a large bowl, combine eggs, cream, lemon zest, and kosher salt and pepper.  Whisk together until it is thoroughly combined.  Pour egg and cream mixture into the crust in the prepared pan. Add in arugula in 3 batches, folding it in as you go.  In your last batch, for aesthetic purposes, leave some arugula leaves visible and on top.  Using a spoon, plop on ricotta, making sure to get it evenly placed around the quiche.  

Place quiche in the oven and bake for 50 minutes to an hour, or until the crust and top are golden brown and the center is no longer wobbly. Let it cool for 5 minutes before cutting. Sprinkle each piece with a little bit of flakey maldon salt, and enjoy!

//Cook’s Note:  If you are in the mood to have a crustless version, making it a frittata instead, this can be easily converted into such.  In a greased skillet on the stove, add all of the filling ingredients and cook over medium heat for a few minutes until the bottom as set.  Then place into a 375 degree oven and cook for 20-30 minutes.