I love hosting dinner parties! However, brunch may be my favorite meal to host. Brunch brings together the best of both worlds: my love of baking and connection with friends.
Because brunch is usually a casual gathering with food served buffet-style, no fussy courses or wine pairings are required. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t bring your A-game to “day entertaining.” Brunch is a great excuse to bring out your grandmother’s china, polish your silver, and dust off your vintage champagne coupes.
My brunch buffet never looks the same twice. I like to serve a variety of both sweet and savory options. I choose recipes that can be made ahead, so that I can spend time with my guests rather than fussing in the kitchen.
It is important to me to select organic, local, and seasonal fixings. Our amazing year-round produce options are simply one more reason to love living (and brunching) in the Pacific Northwest.
Quiche, or “egg pie” as my daughters called it as children, is a mainstay at my brunch gatherings because it is easy, flexible, and decadent. The only limit to quiche is your imagination. It is only boring and bland if you are. There are endless vegetable, cheese, and protein combinations to experiment with.
A few of my favorite combinations, in addition to the recipe below, include:
Asparagus, Morel, Roasted Red Pepper, and Chevre
A variety of wild mushrooms and Sharp Cheddar
Roasted root vegetables and Swiss cheese
Mixed greens (Kale, Spinach, Chard, Beet greens) and Feta
Ham, bacon, or chicken sausage are good additions for meat-eaters. Don’t buy into the notion that “real men don’t eat quiche” – everyone loves a good quiche!
Quiche’s diversity and adaptability make it hard to constrain to the brunch buffet. Serve it with a tossed salad for lunch or supper. It tastes just as good, or better, the next day for leftovers!
Quiche may be considered outdated, old-fashioned, or simply “overdone” in past decades. One thing is for sure, it is a classic dish that can test your kitchen confidence.
Mastering the pastry crust is a challenge, and can make or break the elegance of the quiche. I use a tried and true family recipe for my crust that has been handed down for generations. If the homemade crust seems daunting to you, then use the best pre-made crust you can find.
The egg custard is a delicate balancing act. The result needs to be firm enough to be sliced and hold its shape, but not watery, mushy, dense, or rubbery.
I encourage you to try your hand at making the perfect quiche. If done right, it will be a mainstay at your buffet and beyond!
Your Favorite Single Pie Crust
1 medium onion, diced
8-oz sliced mushrooms
8-oz Spinach, roughly chopped (substitute young nettles in the spring)
3 sprigs of fresh Thyme
4 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 ½ cup of heavy cream (can substitute dairy alternative)
3 tablespoons of flour
½ teaspoon of dried mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Paprika (I like the smoky kind)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll out your pie dough and form it on a pie plate. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
Sauté onions in Olive Oil until translucent. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until they are tender. Season with salt and pepper; add Thyme leaves and Spinach. Cook until Spinach is barely wilted.
Whisk eggs with milk, flour, mustard, salt, and pepper
To assemble quiche, add ingredients in this order:
3. Egg mixture
Sprinkle Paprika on top and bake for 40-45 minutes. It is done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.