I adore Facebook. I use it all the time to keep tabs on what my friends are doing and thinking and also to share bits of news and culture, cute puppy videos and glimpses of my own life. Once in awhile, I will admit, I even post a picture of what I’m eating. Usually, that happens because I’m at some quirky or interesting restaurant. But earlier this week, I posted an appreciative photo of a particularly handsome quiche my husband, Douglas, made for our supper.
“Who is this man that prepares me a crabmeat-kale-tofu quiche in a crust of brown rice and sweet corn, sprinkled over with fresh Parmesan and Italian cheeses?” I wrote in wonderment. “All while beating me at Upwords????”
So many friends responded, I decided to share the recipe here, along with a bit of context and more appreciation.
Douglas is a capable and inventive cook. It was one of the first attributes he shared with me after we met in 2011 on Match.com, possibly because I had mentioned in my profile that I hoped to meet a man who could not only hold his own in the kitchen but also help me reclaim my own culinary enthusiasms. Frankly, I was burned out from making hasty, utilitarian meals during my 30-year marriage. I truly missed the sensual pleasures of the kitchen and the satisfaction of preparing simple, nourishing, interesting food, but I didn’t want to be the chief cook and bottle washer anymore. I dreamed of finding a partner for the kitchen, as well as for the rest of my life.
On our second date, Douglas invited me to his house for dinner, serving up simple grilled salmon, fresh steamed greens and a pilaf of brown rice, toasted pine nuts and chopped vegetables. I’m no pushover, but I’ll admit, that evening I swooned just a bit.
Since then, he has planned and prepared many, if not most, of our meals, including weekend breakfasts and picnic lunches. He does almost all of our grocery shopping. He’s no gourmet cook; his default supper dish is a one-dish concoction he too-modestly refers to as “glop” — an infinitely variable and always appealing combination of rice or pasta, a bit of meat or fish and a healthy measure of some green vegetable, cooked up together with some pesto, balsamic vinegar or other seasoning.
But he can also put together a savory lamb stew, a big salad with crumbled feta cheese, chickpeas and Greek olives or a fresh tomato sauce over slices of grilled eggplant. On instinct, he’ll toss in a handful of almonds, a few raisins or a sprinkle of pine nuts. He rarely consults a recipe. It’s always tasty, healthful and satisfying. He never overcooks anything. He doesn’t leave a big mess in the kitchen. And he doesn’t make a big deal out of it, ever.
This predictably cheerful, can-do attitude toward the daily task of feeding ourselves is slowly rebuilding my own confidence in the kitchen. Although I’m still stymied sometimes for a quick weeknight supper, I don’t worry about making anything fabulous; it’s OK if it’s simple and fresh. When I feel relaxed and creative, I can take all day to concoct something more elegant. Douglas is always appreciative and complimentary of the food I make, as I am of his meals. It’s part of why I love him, and part of why our marriage works.
So, I am pleased to share this recipe for the beautiful, delicious quiche he pulled from the oven and set on the table the other night, when we were midway through a brutal round of Upwords, our favorite word game (he won).
Actually, he didn’t actually have a recipe, but he rose to the challenge of creating one with his usual good humor when I asked. He wanted to name it “What th’ hell pie” but I’ve taken some literary license with that. You should feel free to improvise, based on your food preferences and what’s already in your fridge or garden. We hope you enjoy it — the making and the eating, both — with someone you love.
- 1½ cups cooked brown rice, or substitute ½ cup cooked corn kernels for ½ cup of the rice
- 1 beaten egg
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese or other cheese
- A little dill, basil or other herb
- 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
- 4 cups packed fresh kale or chard, chopped and steamed
- 1 cup (one small block) firm tofu, chopped
- 3 eggs, beaten
- ½ lb. fresh crabmeat
- ½ cup shredded cheddar or other cheese
- Salt, pepper and herbs to taste
- Optional: black olives, artichoke hearts, bits of chopped pepper, etc.
- Additional cheese for top of quiche
- Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil a 9-inch glass, metal or pottery pie plate.
- Combine crust ingredients and mix well.
- Press crust into bottom and sides of pie plate.
- Bake 6 minutes at 350 and remove from oven to cool.
- Combine garlic, kale, tofu and eggs in a food processor and mix until chunky but well combined. Turn into a bowl. Fold in crabmeat, cheese and seasonings and mix gently with a spoon.
- Pour filling into crust and smooth the surface.
- Sprinkle liberally with additional grated cheese
- Bake 45 minutes at 350 until filling is set and top is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Read more of Meg Haskell at livingitforward.bangordailynews.com