Arugula Quiche with Sourdough Crust

Continuing my quest to use our glut of arugula, I decided to make a quiche for potluck last night. I immediately started fantasizing about a delightfully tart crust adding another layer of complexity to the pie — sure enough, I wasn’t the first to think of this, and I found excellent guidance right away. Thanks to Nicole, from Pinch My Salt, which looks to be a very cool site with all kinds of recipes I’m excited to check out soon! I followed her recipe fairly closely, including using a food processor to prepare the crust in a matter of minutes. This trick made it possible for me to just barely squeeze quiche making between animal care, harvesting, planting peas and asparagus, seeding flats onions, and keeping everything watered on this ridiculously hot and sunny day. Phew!

I didn’t have any luck rolling out the dough, probably because I was using whole grain flours instead of all-purpose, so I ended up pressing it into the pie pan instead. I was delighted that it came out of the oven looking perfect, even though in my haste I forgot to cover it with foil. Unfortunately, I then dropped the entire quiche as I scrambled out the door. Thankfully the quiche and pan both survived, but most of the crust broke off. Oh, the irony. Pride cometh before a fall. Nonetheless, I was quite pleased with this quiche, and am happy to have a tried and true pie crust recipe now — and sourdough, at that!

The crust recipe can easily be doubled (back to the original proportions) to make two crusts. Even if you only plan to make one single-crust pie, you can always freeze the other for later. Simply divide in half when you originally stick them in the fridge, or when you go to shape the crust in the pan.

Arugula Quiche with Sourdough Crust

Sourdough Pie Crust
3/4 cup flour (I used about half spelt, half oat, all oat might have been better)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter, sliced
1/2 cup sourdough starter*

Cut butter into the flour until in “pea-size” crumbs (a few larger chunks are okay), either with a pastry cutter or a few pulses in a food processor. Spoon sourdough starter on top and pulse a couple more times to form a crumbly dough that sticks together when pressed. Form dough into a ball in a small bowl, cover with a damp towel (or wrap the ball in plastic), and refrigerate at least an hour, until you are ready to use it, up to 24 hours later.

3 cloves garlic, minced
A few cups arugula, or whatever veggies you prefer
5 eggs
3/4 cup kefir (or buttermilk, yogurt + water, or any milk you prefer)
1/2 to 1 cup grated cheese
1/2 teaspoon or so salt
A few generous sprinkles chili powder, black pepper, or whatever seasonings you choose

Press dough gently into a disk, the roll out on a lightly floured surface or press into a pie pan. Return to refrigerator until ready to use. Preheat oven to 375°F. Sauté arugula and garlic in a little oil, until wilted. Meanwhile, beat together eggs with remaining filling ingredients, then stir in cooked vegetables. Remove crust from fridge and pour in the filling, then immediately place in the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, until center is only slightly jiggly. Let set for a few minutes, then slice and enjoy!

Posted in Casseroles and Baked Dishes, Low Carb | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Arugula Mung Bean Soup

This week has felt a bit like a cooking show challenge… how many different meals can I come up with using mung beans, arugula, and black rice? It always takes me a bit to adjust from cooking for four to just cooking for myself, and so I totally overshot the pot of beans I cooked on Sunday, and thawed a gallon bag of rice on impulse. I’ve also been busy clearing out beds for spring planting and cutting back all the overgrown and bolted arugula in hopes of another harvest… and am now scrambling to make good use of the abundance.

So far, I’ve mostly fallen back on old standbys and new favorites, like arugula pesto, a few variations on curried mung daal, the amazing Ethiopian alicha, tahini mung beans, and a surprisingly exquisite improvised pot of mung beans simmered with onion, star anise, and cilantro. Today, however, I was feeling a bit stumped, so I decided to hunt around and try something new. A recipe for an “Ayurvedic Spinach Mung Soup” from One Green Planet immediately leapt out at me. I couldn’t help playing with it a bit, of course, starting with swapping the spinach out for arugula. I also forgot the tahini, and ended up not bothering to blend the soup, add lemon juice, or garnish with fresh herbs… it still made for a delightful lunch, with a few tortillas on the side. I ate three bowlfuls, which nearly cleared out the pot, but I do have a small amount left to enjoy tomorrow, perhaps with a slice or two of quiche or a plate of mung bean nachos. Definitely expect to make this again before too long. If cooking for more than one or two people, I’d definitely recommend doubling the recipe or cooking a more substantial dish to accompany it.

Arugula Mung Bean Soup
A few tablespoons oil
Chopped onion or leek (I used finely sliced leek leaves I had around)
3 stalks celery, sliced
A teaspoon or two fresh grated ginger
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 fistfuls arugula
2 tablespoons tahini, or another nut or seed butter (optional)
2 cups cooked mung beans
3-4 cups water or stock
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1-2 teaspoons chili powder and/or cayenne
Salt and pepper, to taste
Juice from half a lemon or lime (optional)
A few tablespoons fresh parsley or cilantro (optional)

Saute onion or leeks and celery in oil for a few minutes until soft, then add garlic and ginger and cook another minute or two, until soft and fragrant. Stir in arugula and let wilt. Add the beans, spices, tahini, and liquid, and let simmer at least 10 minutes — longer is be better to help meld the flavor, especially if not using stock. If desired, blend to form a creamy soup, add more liquid if necessary to achieve the desired texture, then stir in lemon or lime juice, adjust seasoning to taste, and garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro.

Posted in Gluten Free, Soups, Vegan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tempeh Ruben Sandwich

Ever since I made sauerruben, I keep finding myself wondering whether Reuben sandwiches were originally made with fermented turnip, rather than what is now considered the defining attributes, sauerkraut and a pink dressing. It makes sense to me, since “ruben” is the German word for turnip, which naturally turns a lovely shade of pink when fermented. I could find no evidence of this online, but that didn’t stop me from making my own spin on the classic. Perfect for a quick lunch after we returned famished from a lovely hike by the Oconaluftee River this morning. My only regret is that I am now out of sauerruben, and don’t have any turnips to make another batch.

Tempeh Ruben Sandwich
Makes 4 heaping sandwiches

1 package tempeh, thinly sliced
A few generous splashes tamari and apple cider vinegar
A spoonful or two of prepared mustard (or a sprinkle of dry mustard)
A sprinkle of ground coriander and chili powder (or whatever seasonings you prefer)
1-2 tablespoons butter or oil
1 small chopped onion
Sliced caraway bread
A few pats of butter (optional)
Sliced cheddar cheese (or whatever type of cheese you prefer, or none at all)
1 pint sauerruben

Marinate tempeh in soy sauce, vinegar, mustard, and spices. Meanwhile, saute onion in oil or butter for a few minutes until it begins to soften, then add tempeh and fry, stirring occasionally, until tempeh is golden and lightly crisped. While the tempeh is cooking, prepare the bread, either by sticking it in a toaster or buttering it and grilling it in a pan. Melt cheese onto the bread, then top with sauerruben and tempeh, and another piece of crisped bread if desired (we enjoyed them open-faced), and serve warm.

Posted in Garden Originals, Out of the Frypan, Quick and easy, Vegan | Tagged , , | Leave a comment