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Creamy Ricotta and Farro Quiche

April 15, 2012

Having grown up in the evangelical church, I’d never observed the season of Lent as a child. But now we’ve started going to a Lutheran church where a lot more emphasis is placed on the seasons of the church year, and I knew that I wanted to participate in that this year. I had a really hard time deciding what to give up for Lent – I wanted something that would be a struggle but not be impossible! When I brought it up with Devin and said I was thinking about going vegetarian for Lent but I wasn’t sure what to do about making two separate meals for each of us, he said he’d go vegetarian with me!

Because we eat a lot of vegetarian meals anyway for cost and health reasons, it was fairly straightforward in the beginning to avoid meat, poultry, and fish, but toward the end I felt like I was in a bit of a slump. Not sure if it was my normal cooking slump that seems to happen every few months or if it was related to the restrictions we had placed on ourselves, but either way, I’m definitely grateful to be able to incorporate some meat back into our diet now! Over the next week or so I’ll be posting some of the vegetarian recipes we tried.

This recipe from Gourmet Today was one of our favorites – it’s not a traditional quiche with a standard pie crust and egg-based filling, but it was delicious! Seems like the “ancient grains” are coming back into popularity as Wegmans recently came out with several different prepackaged blends of rice and various grains (but Lori’s has farro in bulk a lot cheaper, woohoo!). The farro has a chewy texture similar to barley when cooked, and this contrasts wonderfully with the smoothness of the ricotta. The addition of nutmeg may seem unusual, but it adds a unique background flavor and is not overwhelming.

As with any quiche, this is best served right away, but I found that it reheated well in the toaster oven.

Ricotta and farro quiche

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 1  cup farro
  • Salt
  • 2  tablespoons fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 2  tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2  garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2  (15-ounce) containers (3 1/2 cups) whole-milk ricotta
  • 1  large egg
  • 2  large egg yolks
  • 2/3  cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4  cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2  teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Directions

  1. Cook farro in a 2- to 3-quart pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespoon salt) until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a sieve and cool to room temperature.
  2. Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch glass pie plate or other shallow ovenproof dish and lightly coat with bread crumbs, knocking out excess.
  3. Melt butter in a small heavy skillet over low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer garlic and butter to a medium bowl. Stir in farro, ricotta, egg, yolks, Parmigiano-Reggiano, parsley, 3/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg until well combined.
  4. Spoon mixture into dish and bake until quiche is just set and top is pale golden, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly.
  5. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

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