What better way to take advantage of the outdoors than with a picnic? Or, if the weather where you live doesn’t allow, a nice indoor picnic can always be fun too. Easy to pack, refreshing and colorful dishes are most fun while on picnics. Picnic meals can also be made ahead of time. They can be versatile and allow you to get super creative. This goat cheese quiche is an excellent example.
Quiche is simply an open pie that consists of a bottom crust, custard filling together with different layers of vegetables or meat. It can be tailored to your own preferences. For this version I used different colored fresh peppers and zucchini and kept the the calorie content to a minimum by mixing egg whites into the custard rather than just whole eggs. I also used reduced fat milk, in place of cream or half and half, and made the crust using whole wheat flour to increase the fiber content. This is a much lighter version of the traditional quiche but it is still packed with tons of flavor and texture.
Two important factors I have found when baking a quiche is to bake the crust for a few minutes before adding the filling, known as blind baking, which ensures the crust from getting soggy. Also placing the cheese right on the bottom of the pre-baked crust will ensure you obtain a crunchy result rather than a soggy one.
Using the KitchenAid® 16-Cup Food Processor makes making the dough extremely easy. You will be done in a matter of a few minutes.
When transporting the quiche and salad make sure you use an icebox-picnic container if you live where the weather is warm. This will keep the food cool and prevent temperature fluctuations to avoid any risk of food poisoning. You can also place small bottles of water or juice in the freezer for a few hours before the picnic and use them as cooling blocks that will help keep your food cool.
Whether you are having a picnic with your family or significant other you only need a picnic basket with a few food items, a blanket and some basic utensils. Outdoor dinning is lots of fun and a great chance to enjoy the open air, and an indoor picnic is a fun way to bring the outdoors in when the weather turns cold.
To prepare the crust place dough ingredients, except water, into your KitchenAid® 16 cup food processor.
Pulse until combined and the mixture resembles coarse meal. This should not take more than 10 seconds as the KitchenAid® 16 cup food processor is very powerful.
Add the ice water and process just until the mixture is combined without forming a ball. Place the mixture into a 6-inch circle on plastic wrap, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. If you like you can place in the freezer for about 10 minutes for a faster result.
Make sure you don’t forget to pierce the crust with a fork to allow air to be released through the dough while it bakes. I have forgotten to do this step a couple of times before and the cooked pie crust couldn’t be used.
You can make any quiche of your choice. I made a vegetable one to keep it on the light side. I used goat cheese to give it a different flavor which worked really good with the vegetables. I also served it with a refreshing tomato and avocado salad that can also be easily packed for the picnic.
Goat Cheese and Vegetable Quiche
Makes 8 servings
For the crust
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
10 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup ice water
1 teaspoon salt
For the filling
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium zucchinis, sliced
1 medium red pepper, roughly chopped
1 medium orange pepper, roughly chopped
1 medium yellow pepper, roughly chopped
6 ounces goat cheese
4 slices provolone
3/4 cup cup reduced-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup egg whites
3 whole eggs
For the tomato and avocado salad
2 ripe avocados, sliced
1 pound grape tomatoes, sliced in half
4 ounces fresh pea sprouts
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 small red onion, sliced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
To prepare the crust place crust ingredients, except the water, into your KitchenAid® 16 cup food processor. Pulse until combined and the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the ice water and process just until the mixture is combined. Place the mixture into a 6-inch circle on plastic wrap, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Lightly flour a rolling pin and work surface and roll out dough to a 12-inch round. Place in a 9-inch pie plate with removable bottom, fold overhang under, and crimp edge. Place a sheet of foil paper over the dough and fill with dried beans. Bake until the edge is dry and lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Remove foil paper and dried beans.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, place extra-virgin olive oil over medium to high heat. Add zucchini, peppers, salt and pepper and cook until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes. Arrange the provolone cheese over the crust followed by the veggies. Distribute the goat cheese over the veggies.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Whisk to combine and pour into crust, and bake until center of quiche is just set, 40 to 45 minutes.
While the quiche is baking, place salad ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix through, cover and set aside until ready to serve.
Tip: You can season the salad with the oil and vinegar right before you are ready to eat it so that the ingredients don’t get soggy.
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*