I grow sorrel every year. That’s not true, it’s a perennial so it comes back every year all on its own. So I am not so sure I grow it as much as just let it be. Either way I have access to it each spring. The thing is I rarely use it. It is one of those vegetables where you always say to yourself you will get around to it but never do. I guess for me sorrel is like when I lived in New York City and I always said to myself I need to go to the top of the Empire Stare Building or get out to the Statue of Liberty and then moved away before I ever did any of those things.
Last year though I started to make pesto from sorrel and I found it exciting and delicious but after that I found other vegetables and pretty much left sorrel at the side of the dance floor.
This year so far has been different. I have made a sorrel gratin, creamed sorrel and now this quiche. Maybe sorrel is a vegetable that takes time to get to know before you can become close kitchen friends.
Note: you need to make this at least the day before and up to two days before you want to serve it. It has to rest overnight in the fridge for the custard to set properly. Plan ahead.
Pancetta Lardons, Sorrel and Mushroom Quiche (makes 8 slices)
1 pie crust for a twelve inch round and two inch deep pie dish(use your favorite savory crust or buy one)
1 cup pancetta lardons
3/4 cup onion, 1/4 inch dice
8 ounces white mushrooms, diced
1 1/2 cups sorrel, tough stems removed and sliced into thin ribbons
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
1 tablespoon chives, minced
2 cups half and half
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups edam cheese
1. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta to the pan and let it render until the lardons begin to crisp. Add the onions and sauté them till they begin to color.
2. Add mushrooms and stir them around to soak up any fat. Add the butter. Stir the mushrooms again and season them with salt and pepper. If the mushrooms look dry add the oil. What you are looking to do here is cook the excess liquid out of the mushrooms. You don’t want them dry but you also don’t want them to release a bunch of liquid into the egg custard while you are cooking your quiche. The mushrooms should shrink a lot in volume and be brown.
3. Add the sorrel, thyme and chives. The sorrel will wilt quickly and will release liquid too. Stir the filling around, taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove the filling from the heat and set it aside.
4. Place your crust into the pie pan then blind bake your crust. After you remove the crust reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
5. Let everything cool. While it is doing so make the custard. Combine the eggs, half and half and the milk. Season it with 2 teaspoons of salt, fresh ground white pepper and a grind or two of nutmeg. Whisk it all until it is very smooth and you see no eggy white strands.
6. Spread the filling onto the bottom of the crust, top the filling with half the cheese and pour the custard over filling the crust. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes then top with the remaining cheese. Turn the oven to 375 degrees and bake another 15 to 20 minutes or until the top has browned nicely.
7. Cool the quiche completely, cover and refrigerate overnight. Rewarm in a 325 degree oven before serving.