Leek, Kale, and Red Pepper Quiche

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I have always like to plan meals by using ingredients I already have in the refrigerator, freezer, or pantry.  I dislike wasting food, and try to be creative in using up our perishables.  So last Saturday when I was putting together a late breakfast, I made this quiche because we had leeks, kale and red pepper.  I have used leeks in quiche and tarts before, and certainly red pepper is a common enough addition, but I wasn’t sure how well we would like kale for breakfast.  Turns out we liked it very much.  This would also be a wonderful light lunch or supper with the addition of a salad.  The fresh vegetables were beautiful as I chopped and wilted them.

007I used a prepared pie crust since I had one in the refrigerator, but you could certainly make your own.  The finished product smelled so good our mouths were watering as we sliced it.  I garnished with a nasturtium leaf and flower.

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Leek, Kale, and Red Pepper Quiche

              4 fresh eggs
              1 cup milk
              2 tablespoons flour
              1 teaspoon dried French thyme
              1 teaspoon dried mustard
              1 cup shredded cheddar
              2 tablespoons olive oil
              1 large leek or 3 small leeks,  sliced very thin
              3 cups kale, sliced very thin
              1 sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped
              Salt and pepper to taste
              nutmeg
Saute the leeks in the olive oil for 2 minutes. Add kale and red pepper and saute another 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk eggs, add to milk, flour and seasonings in a bowl, stir in cheese. Spread vegetable mixture in crust. Pour egg/milk/cheese mixture over. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg.  Bake at 375 for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Roses on the Table

Who doesn’t love roses as a table centerpiece?  Whether it is a bunch of antique roses in a Mason jar or a single perfect bud, this addition to a kitchen table or a fancy dining setting always seems to bring smiles.  But roses are not only for smelling and seeing, there are dozens of ways they bring beauty to the table.  They taste good, too!  Any rose can be used as an edible offering if it is grown organically – without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.  So this is definitely a homegrown project unless you know that the roses have been grown safe to eat.

Rose petals are a charming garnish.  Like pansies and violas, they can be sugared and used for decorations on cupcakes.  Like Calendula and nasturtiums, they can top greens for a salad.

Rose lemonade is delicious.  A few petals floating in a clear glass pitcher of ice water can make memories at a little girl’s tea party.

Rose Petal Syrup
4 cups rose petals
6 cups water
2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Simmer the petals until all the color has gone into the liquid, about 30 minutes.  Strain & return liquid to pan. Lower heat and reduce to about 1 ½  cups liquid, about an hour. Add
sugar lemon juice.  Boil just until all dissolved, then remove from heat and pour with funnel into sterilized bottles or jars.  Store in refrigerator.


Rose Sugar
1 cup  rose petals
1 cup sugar
Blend  in a food processor until mixed. Store for at least a week before using. Keeps well in the freezer

My granddaughters and I make rose petal vinegars with red rose petals.  We use clean quart jars that have been put through a sanitize dishwasher cycle.  Pick several cups of petals, rinse them, and pat dry. Place a couple of handfuls of rose petals into a jar and  pour either white or apple cider vinegar to within an inch of the jar top.  Cover, and place in a sunny spot outside for several hours as if you were making sun tea.  Cider vinegar makes a lovely rich red color, while the white vinegar will be a delightful paler pink.   If you wish, you can bring vinegar to a boil to cover the petals instead of putting them in the sun. I then pour the vinegar into pretty bottles and cork.  I prefer to keep the vinegar refrigerated and ready to splash over greens in a salad.