Pastry crusts are the most time consuming obstacle in making a delicious quiche — this quick and easy polenta crust solves that, and makes the whole dish gluten-free.
By Kimberly Killebrew
Here’s what happened. I had leek that needed to be used, a bag of gorgeous tomatoes from a friend’s garden, and an open package of bacon. And I wanted quiche. A savory, buttery, leeky, tomatoey, bacony quiche. But I wasn’t in the mood to make the crust. Can you relate? You want pie but you just dread the thought of having to make the crust? Yeah, that’s the kind of mood I was in A crust-less mood. You know the kind. But still, I wanted quiche. And I’m generally usually almost always the kind of girl who likes to have her way.
And thus this BLT Polenta Quiche was born.
That’s where the idea of whipping up a polenta crust came into play. No cutting in cold pieces of butter with flour, adding ice water, kneading it into a dough, forming it into a ball, refrigerating it for goodness knows how long, rolling it out, pressing it in…etc, etc. And it wasn’t even about the time. I just didn’t want to bother with making crust. So no, none of that. Just a simple boil-the-water-add-the-polenta-stir-until-cooked-press-in-quiche-pan-and-bake Yes, I was liking the sound of that. Plus, it’s something different than the day-in/day-out flour crust. Score.
To save time, I roasted the tomatoes and cooked the bacon together in the oven. Those cooked while I prepared the polenta and chopped the leek. Perfect.
The resulting polenta-crusted quiche was delightful and a nice change from the norm. Next time I’m going to experiment with a kind of Mexican polenta-crusted quiche. I’m thinking something with smoky chipotles (maybe added to the actual polenta) with melted queso fresco…hmm, I’m liking the the sound of that, too. But I digress. Today we’re having Bacon, Leek and Roasted Tomato Quiche with Polenta Crust!
Oh, and for those of you who eat gluten-free, this is definitely for you, too!
- 1¾ cup chicken broth
- ½ cup coarsely ground cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2-3 slices thickly cut bacon
- 3 large Roma tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 large leek, sliced, washed and drained
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup half and half (or milk for less calories)
- 3 eggs
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup flavorful cheese, such as Swiss or gouda, grated
- To roast the tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the tomatoes cut side down on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Lay the bacon next to the tomatoes. Roast the tomatoes and bacon for 17-20 minutes, or until the skins of the tomatoes have collapsed and are just barely starting to brown and the bacon is crispy. Let sit until cool enough to handle and then chop the onions and break the bacon up into small pieces. Set aside.
- In the meantime, to make the polenta crust: In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the cornmeal in a gradual stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, whisking frequently, for about 15-20 minutes until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan into a firm, sticky mass.
- Grease a quiche pan and press the polenta mixture into it and up the sides.
- In a preheated oven at 400 degrees F, bake the polenta crust for 15-20 minutes until slightly crispy on the edges.
- For the quiche filling:
- Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat, add the leek and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Combine the half and half, eggs, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Place the leek, chopped roasted tomatoes, and bacon into the polenta crust. Pour the half and half/egg mixture over it and then sprinkle the cheese over it.
- Preheat the oven to 325 F and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown on top and the middle of the quiche is firm.