This isn’t really a pie. Nor is it a quiche. Perhaps it’s more like a “breakfast bake”, but in a much smaller sort of way. It didn’t happen in a huge pan for a big crowd, like breakfast bakes normally do. It was just a way to use up the end of a loaf of bread and some basil flowers and make a nice lunch for myself in the process. Actually, it wasn’t just a lunch. It was my lunch, mid-afternoon snack and dinner, all in one bowl. I just kept happily munching on this all afternoon and evening.
Growing basil indoors in the winter is a wonderful experience … you can have fresh herbs all winter long, and pretty little purple flowers will grace your life right there in the middle of all that winter white and gray-ness. The trick to keeping your basil going all winter is to water it well, and cut off the flowers. If you don’t cut the flowers, the basil plant thinks it is “done” and dies off. The super lucky thing about having to cut off basil flowers is they are VERY pretty, and very edible, and very delicious.
Layered Spinach, Swiss, Bacon & Basil-Flower Pie
- Several fresh sprigs of basil, with flowers (if you have flowers. if you don’t have flowers, don’t worry, basil leaves will work just fine … or if you must, you can substitute dried basil)
- 2 very thin slices of bread
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons of bacon crumbles (bacon, fried till crisp, then drained well on a clean towel and crumbled into bits)
- About 1/2 cup of shredded swiss cheese
- About 1/4 cup of freshly shredded parmesan and/or romano cheese (I used a mix of both)
- About 1/2 cup of frozen spinach, thawed, use a towel to “sponge” out the excess moisture and chop it into pieces
- 1 small potato, peeled and diced, then cooked
- Chopped green onion
- 1 egg + 1 egg white
- 3/4 cup of low-fat milk
- Red robin seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt)
- Freshly ground pepper
What I did here was take the last slice of my Speckled Pepperoni Cheese Bread and cut it into two thin slices. I sprayed an oven-safe bowl with cooking spray, put one of the thin slices in the bottom of the bowl and sprinkled it with bacon and basil flowers.
Then I topped it with about 1/2 of the spinach, some potato and cheese, and some more basil flowers / leaves.
Then I topped it with the other slice of bread and repeat the whole layering process (spinach, potato, cheese, basil flowers) and on the top I added a bit of chopped green onion.
Now in a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, egg white, and milk, then sprinkle liberally with Red Robin Seasoining and lots of freshly ground pepper. Mix it all up well, then pour it carefully into the bowl, pouring sort of around the edge so the bowl fills in with the egg mixture.
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or so or until the egg is set. Touch the egg lightly, it should spring back when you touch it. If there’s any liquid oozing out, let it bake a little longer.
I wanted you to see the layers of this delicious and very lovely “pie” …
This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous Fridays.
My mom gave me one of her beautiful white eggplant. The first time she gave me one, my foodie sister was there and she looked at me and said, “the white ones are perfect for stuffing.” Ever since she said that, every white eggplant I meet seems to cry out to me to stuff it with all sorts of deliciousness.
One of my foodie friends suggested stuffing it with shrimp and bechamel sauce. I had fully intended to do that with this one, but I am feeling too lazy today to make a bechamel sauce. So I just did a quick sautee, swirled in some cheese and went with that. I didn’t have as much shrimp as I really wanted to use, but still it turned out lovely. Yes, a white wine bechamel sauce would be heavenly, with some freshly shredded parmesan and nutmeg. But not today.
Today is my lazy Sunday. And this was my lazy Sunday lunch. And it was beautiful and delicious, just like this.
If you’re wondering what those dark spots are, they are a couple basil flowers I tossed on just before I baked the eggplant. You might want to toss on the flowers (if you have them) AFTER you cook the stuffed eggplant. Just sayin’ …
Shrimp, Basil & Bacon Stuffed Eggplant with Swiss and Goat Cheese
- 1 eggplant, about 6 inches long (so once you scoop out the inside, you have about 1 1/2 cups of eggplant–if you have a larger or smaller eggplant, just adjust the other ingredients up or down)
- 1 t. olive oil
- 1/4 c. chopped onion
- 1/4 c. chopped bell pepper
- 2 – 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 – 1 cup of chopped shrimp (I only had 1/2 cup, but I really wanted more shrimp in this!)
- 2 – 3 slices of lower-fat bacon, fried crisp, drained and chopped
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 1/2 c. shredded swiss cheese (Asiago, Romano or Parmesan would be nice mixed in as well)
- 1 oz. goat cheese
- 2 -3 T. of fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 -3 t. of fresh oregano leaves
- Shredded swiss or parmesan cheese and/or breadcrumbs
- Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and using a grapefruit spoon, scoop out the insides so you leave about 1/4 – 1/2 inch shell.
- It should look something like this when you’re done:
- Take the removed eggplant flesh and chop it up into small pieces.
- Heat a medium sized frying pan over medium high heat until it starts to warm. Spray lightly with cooking spray, then swirl around the olive oil in the heated pan. Add eggplant, onion, garlic, and bell pepper and sautee until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Add the shrimp, bacon, and tomato and sautee just about 3 minutes more.
- Remove from heat and stir in cheeses and herbs.
- Fill the scooped out eggplant shells with the lovely mixture you cooked up.
- Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and top with shredded cheese and/or breadcrumbs.
- Bake at 350 for 15 – 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted or the breadcrumbs are lightly browned.
- Serve hot, with fresh basil leaves for garnish (and the basil flowers, if you happen to have some!)
This beautiful dish goes so well with a nice glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.
By the way, stuffed eggplant are the perfect make-ahead convenience food! You can wrap them in plastic wrap or foil and freeze for later. When you need a quick meal, pull it out of the freezer, let it thaw for a while, then bake at 350 until it’s heated throughout. They microwave nicely, too, just make sure to cook them long enough to get the center good and hot.
This recipe was shared at Katherine Martinelli’s Eggplant Bloghop.
… with the simplest crust EVER … (and it’s healthy too!)
Have I mentioned that I am terrible at pie crusts? I hate making them … they always turn out ugly. Not at all light and flaky like dad’s crusts. And anyway they are NOT good for you.
One day many, many years ago I wanted to make a quiche, but I didn’t want to bother with a crust, and I really didn’t want to have to go to the store and buy one of those pre-made ones, but I thought: why not use a tortilla? That just might work …
And it did. It makes a lovely ruffled edge without you even having to mess with it. (I can’t do the edges very pretty on pie crusts either …) The only trick is you have to find a tortilla big enough and a pie pan small enough so the tortilla can make a good edge to hold in all the good stuff in the quiche.
By the way, you can use this tortilla crust for pies that only require one crust, too. Pumpkin pie does very well in a tortilla crust. I’ve not tried apple yet, but I think a dutch apple pie with streusel topping would be fantastic in a tortilla crust.
Herbed Harvest Vegatable, Bacon & Goat Cheese Quiche
- 1 large tortilla (the biggest, healthiest tortilla you can find)
- 1 c. peeled and chopped eggplant
- 1 small potato, peeled and chopped (about 1/2 c.)
- 1 t. olive oil
- 1/4 c. chopped zucchini or summer squash
- 1/4 c. chopped red onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 small tomatoes
- 2 slices lower-fat bacon, cooked crisp, drained on a clean towel, then crumbled (or chopped)
- About 1/3 c. shredded swiss cheese
- About 1 oz. goat cheese crumbles
- Fresh oregano, rosemary, and basil leaves
- 3 eggs ( or 3/4 c. eggbeaters)
- 1/4 c. buttermilk
- 1/2 c. fat free half and half (or milk)
- 1/2 t. Red Robin Seasoning
- Freshly ground pepper
- A few red onion slices
Find a pie pan that fits your tortilla. You will probably have to go with a smaller pie pan in order to get a good edge. Spray the pie pan with cooking spray, and pat down the tortilla so the bottom is flat and it makes a good edge to hold the quiche.
Put the eggplant and potato in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave about 30 seconds or until the vegies are slightly soft.
Meanwhile, thinly slice the tomatoes. Set several pretty slices aside for the top of the quiche and chop the rest.
Warm a saucepan over medium to medium high heat, spray lightly with cooking spray, then swirl around the olive oil to roughly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the eggplant, potato, zucchini, onion, and garlic and sautee until the onions are translucent and all the vegies are cooked through. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook a few more minutes.
Spread the vegies across the bottom of the tortilla crust, then sprinkle with bacon, then the swiss and goat cheeses.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and half and half (or milk), Red Robin seasoning and freshly ground pepper until frothy. Pour the egg mixture over the vegies, bacon and cheese in the quiche.
Arrange the tomatoes and a few red onion slices on the top, then bake at 350 degrees for about 35 – 40 minutes or until the quiche is set. Let the quiche sit for about 10 minutes before you cut it.