Eggplant is hot right now. Not just the vegetable (although I have seen assorted "arty" eggplant pics everywhere) but the color. Last week I picked up two eggplants and they've been on the counter looking at me as I deliberated on what to do with them. Last night they became.... delicious. I made a quick and easy "quiche".
Technically there's no pastry in this so it's not really a quiche but it's similar. Basically I used the eggplant as the pastry so the end result was gluten free and took much less time to cook.
Also in our house my husband would be happiest with meat at every meal and I only want meat occasionally so I'm always trying to cook things that I can add meat to for him but eat plain for myself. By making these in ramekins I was able to achieve that. One of my tricks is roasting a whole chicken in the crockpot. I'm able to get two fairly large chickens at Costco for under $7. It roasts with no effort in the crockpot and I stick it in the fridge in a Ziploc bag. My husband ravages it for chicken sandwiches and I pluck some meat off to put in meals for him and when it's picked clean I throw the carcass, the reserved livers and necks, and some onion, celery and carrots into a pot and make stock. Win-win.
Back to eggplant. It's delicious and I think it gets a bad rap. There are so many pages out there telling you how to remove eggplants "bitterness" and folks end up thinking it's hard to cook with or it needs a lot of time. This isn't true when you roast it. Roasted eggplant tastes amazing and is very quick to do. I've used it in the past to make Eggplant Gnocchi.This quiche eggplant dish reminds me a little of a Persian dish called Eggplant Kuku. Kukus are delicious herb-infused quiche-like egg bakes.
Quick Eggplant Quiche
Serves 4 in ramekins - baked in a glass square dish it can be cut into small appetizers
1 large eggplant (rougly 1 1/4- 1 1/2 pounds)
3 TBS olive oil
2 TBS Shepherd Mix spice by Teeny Tiny Spice Co of Vermont
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup shredded cheddar
1/3 cup shredded chicken (optional- this will be enough for 2 ramekins, double if you want chicken in all of them- great way to use leftover chicken!)
1. Preheat oven to 375. Wash the eggplant, cut off the ends and cut it into thin slices lengthwise. Cover a cookie sheet with tinfoil and spray with cooking spray. Eggplant sticks! It will make your life infinitely easier if you are generous with the spray. In a small bowl mix the oil and 1 TBS of the Shepherd Mix and using a pastry brush brush both sides of the eggplant. Bake for 10 min.
2. While the eggplant is roasting spray the ramekins with cooking spray. Beat 4 eggs add the heavy cream and cheddar cheese.
3. When the eggplant is done take it out of the stove and put two slices in each ramekin. I do them in a cross shape to make sure the bottom and sides of the ramekin are covered.
Add chicken if you so desire.
Top off with some of the egg mixture. (Don't overfill- it will puff up when baking.)
I top mine with one slice of eggplant folded in half. Then put the ramekins onto the cookie tray and bake for 15 minutes.
You can serve them in the ramekins:
Great with a side salad, enjoy!