TOMATO BASIL QUICHE
by Lawrence Davis-Hollander
Quiches can have a variety of fillings. Traditionally Gruyère is the cheese used in a quiche, but any type of hard cheese can be substituted. I like using a sharp cheddar, because it goes very nicely with the tomatoes and is a cheese still being produced in many of the dairy states in America. Thus, in some places you can make this quiche entirely out of local ingredients, except the port. The port combines well with red tomatoes, adding a subtle winey flavor. It can be omitted, if you desire, but reduce the baking time by 5 minutes. Any red slicing tomato will work nicely: Paragon, Earliana, Abe Lincoln, and Cardinal are among many.
• 2 medium or 1 large (about 10 ounces) tomato, sliced 1/4 inch thick
• 8 ounces sharp white cheddar or Gruyère cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
• 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
• 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
• 1 small onion, thinly sliced
• leaves from 3 stems basil, torn if large
• 4 eggs
• 1 2/3 cups light cream
• 6 tablespoons aged port or sherry
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Place the tomato slices on a paper towel to absorb excess moisture.
2. Toss the cheese with the garlic in a small bowl. Sprinkle 1½ cups of the cheese mixture evenly on the bottom of the pie shell. Arrange the onion on top of the cheese. Arrange the tomato slices in a single layer on top of the onion. Distribute the basil on top of the tomato and in the crevices between the rounds. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese mixture on top.
3. Beat the eggs thoroughly in a medium bowl. Add the cream, port, and pepper and beat well. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the pie shell.
4. Bake for 20 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for 35 minutes longer, until the quiche is lightly browned on top.
5. Cool the quiche on a wire rack for a few minutes before serving.