(crust from Vegetarian Everyday, filling inspired by the same recipe)
Although there are many possible fillings for quiches (it’s the perfect repository for haphazard leftovers), I’ve never thought of playing with the crust and custard base. Then I came across a recipe in Vegetarian Everyday that called for no dairy and no flour. The main substitute was coconut, and I was entirely skeptical but intrigued. I tried. The result is magnificent. In fact, the quiche is resting in my kitchen at this very moment and I keep cutting myself another slice. It is light and crisp, so a third helping does not feel decadent.

First, the crust. It tastes like the thinnest and most delicate shortbread; it has the crunch of rice flour and the sweetness of almond meal, but a definite savory, salty bite. It holds its shape while being thin-as-paper elegant and flaky. It was difficult to work with, but I’ll describe how to tackle the spreading of the crust in my directions.
Then the filling. I substituted fennel for kale and red onions. I added thyme instead of rosemary because I only had thyme in my kitchen. But I kept the nutmeg as my spice. I was curious to see how the coconut milk would cook, and the outcome is a subtle coconut flan texture. And no, it doesn’t take like a dessert.
Surprisingly this recipe wasn’t particularly difficult. I didn’t have too many bowls to clean, and there were no unforeseen challenges. I’m tempted to say it’s superior to the regular quiche Lorraine, if only because it is crispier and unusually flavored.

Tart crust
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/3 cup almond meal (I make my own with a food processor)
2 tbsp cornstarch
generous 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
3 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp ice cold water
1/2 bunch of Tuscan kale, stems removed and chopped
2 red onions, chopped coarsely
Olive oil
Black pepper
2 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
1/2 cup coconut milk
To make the tart crust, stir rice flour, almond meal, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl. Add coconut oil and ice-cold water and use your hands to work the crumbly ingredients until they form a smooth dough. Gather in a ball and wrap in plastic wrap and chill for thirty minutes.
Meanwhile, make the filling.
In a large pan, heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the onions and cook over medium heat for fifteen-minutes until golden. Stir continuously while cooking. Add the kale and cook until wilted, two to three minutes. Add a nice pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together eggs and coconut milk. Remember to stir the coconut milk in the can before measuring as the cream separates from the watery milk. Add two pinches of salt and pepper to your liking. Add nutmeg and thyme.
Use your hands to press the dough into the tart pan. The dough will crumble and it will seem as though there isn’t enough to cover one pan. But don’t discourage! Push the dough into the sides of the pan (mine went halfway up), and then continue spreading and pushing into the pan with your fingers until there are no holes or gaps. This took me about five to seven minutes. The crust will be very, very, very thin, almost transparent. But when it cooks the crust will stay firm and crunchy. Prick the base with a fork.
Spread the kale and onion mix evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Slowly and carefully pour the egg mixture onto the kale and onions. You want to do this slowly and evenly otherwise the custard will overflow. It’s like trickling syrup onto a pancake.
Place in the middle of the oven and bake for thirty-five minutes. Let cool for ten minutes before serving. I imagine it would be delicious with a simple green salad.

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