Quiche Florentine

This delicious vegetarian quiche florentine is quick to make if you already have your pastry ready, or if you're using store-bought pastry. Once you have the basic quiche recipe down, you can vary the ingredients to suit your tastes, adding any cooked ingredients you like.

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A hand lifting a wedge of Quiche Florentine out of a pie pan.

Do Real Men Eat Quiche?

I can remember back in the early 1980s when the phrase “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche” gained popularity. It was originally the title of a tongue-in-cheek book that defined masculinity and included several definitions of what real men should do and definitely should not do. I think when this book was published in 1982, it was the first I had ever even heard of quiche. I don’t know if the simple baked egg in pastry dish was damaged by this scandalous declaration of its feminine designation, but as they say in the publicity business… there is no such thing as bad PR. So, for me and probably many others, this book put quiche on the map! Do real men eat it? Dare I say… yes!

Ingredients on a cutting board - pastry, cheese, tomatoes, eggs, cream and spinach.

Ingredients for Quiche

Quiche is actually a very simple meal to make and can fit the bill for dinner or for an elegant brunch. It is basically a frittata with a pastry crust. It almost always includes some sort of cheese and a mix of vegetables, but of course can include meat as well. As such it’s a pretty great way to use up any leftovers you have kicking around. 

An empty pie shell next to a cutting board with cheese, tomatoes, spinach and a bowl of egg custard.

Quiche Florentine

Quiche Florentine is a quiche that includes spinach as a main ingredient. The word Florentine refers to Florence, Italy, where Catherine de Medici was born. Later in life, Catherine de Medici became the Queen of France and as Queen she imported her own cooks from Florence and apparently spinach seeds as well. Her cooks prepared spinach dishes for her regularly and as a result, dishes made with spinach became referred to as Florentine.

Four images showing adding ingredients to a quiche Florentine.

Quiche Variations

The most famous quiche of all is Quiche Lorraine. The Lorraine refers to Lorraine, France and always includes lardons (strips of fatty bacon). I don’t know if that is because people from Lorraine have the good sense to season their foods with salty fatty bacon, but if I was from Lorraine I’d take it as a compliment. Once you have the basic quiche recipe, you can put any mixture of ingredients in that you like… as long as they are already cooked. If you add bacon for instance, make sure you’ve cooked the bacon first. The same goes for other ingredients – sausage, mushrooms, peppers, etc… The ingredients won’t get much cooking in the egg custard, so make sure they are cooked first. 

A hand brushing egg wash onto the rim of a pie crust with spinach, cheese and cherry tomatoes inside.

Pastry for Quiche

This recipe includes the ingredients to make your own pastry and I think it is well worthwhile. You can read about how to make pastry here. It’s really not hard and does make a difference. If you’re in a hurry, however, you can buy refrigerated pastry. One tip is to use two sheets of pastry rolled together – it forms a more sturdy crust that holds up better when you slice the quiche. 

Pouring egg custard into a pastry crust with tomatoes, spinach and cheese inside.

Cream, Half-and-Half, or Milk?

You do have options when you choose the dairy for quiche. If you’re feeling decadent, go for heavy cream. If you don’t want the quiche to be quite as rich, replace half the heavy cream with whole milk, or just use half-and-half instead. The heavy cream version will puff up a little more, but both versions are delicious. 

A close up of quiche florentine on a wooden table with a pie server in the background.

How to Freeze and Re-heat Quiche

Odd though it may seem, the best time to freeze quiche is before you bake it! That’s right. First, freeze the crust in the pie shell. Then, pour in the filling and transfer the pie dish to the freezer, freezing until the surface of the egg custard is just barely set. Then, wrap the quiche really well, pressing the first layer of plastic wrap right down on the surface of the quiche. Wrap it again with more plastic and then foil before storing in the freezer for up to 3 months. When it comes time to baking, let it defrost in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours until it has fully thawed and then bake according to the recipe. 

You can also freeze a fully baked quiche, wrapped well, but the pastry could be soggy when it is baked. Re-heat a frozen baked quiche from frozen in a 350˚F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, covering with foil if the top starts to get too dark.

A piece of Quiche Florentine on a white plate with salad on the side.

What to Serve with Quiche Florentine

Quiche may sound light, but it’s actually quite a rich dish with buttery pastry, cream and eggs. I think serving a nice light green salad along with quiche is the right choice. If it’s dinnertime, a nice glass of red or white wine is a nice accompaniment too. 

A hand forking a piece of quiche florentine out of a wedge on a white plate with a side salad.

Featured Recipe Techniques

More about the skills used in this recipe.

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How to Make Pastry

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Quiche Florentine

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 1 h
  • Resting Time: 30 m
  • Total Time: 1 h 45 m
  • Servings:
    6

Ingredients

Pastry:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter cut into cubes and well chilled
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons ice-cold water as needed
  • OR
  • 2 store-bought deep-dish pastry shells
Quiche:
  • 7 large eggs
  • cups half-and-half or heavy cream or a combination of both
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces fresh baby spinach coarsely chopped
  • ¾ cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 ounces goat cheese

Instructions

  1. If making the pastry by hand, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Use a pastry cutter to cut the cold butter into the flour or pinch the butter in the flour with your fingers until it has the consistency of coarse meal. Add the lemon juice and 6 tablespoons of water, drizzling it as evenly over the flour as possible. Fold the dough together with your hands until you are able to collect it into a dough ball, adding more water as needed.
  2. If making the pastry in a food processor: Freeze the butter cubes for 15 minutes before starting. Blend the flour and salt together in the food processor bowl. Add the chilled butter cubes and pulse with the flour until the butter chunks are the size of peas. Drizzle the lemon juice and 6 tablespoons of water over the flour as evenly as you can and pulse the mixture together, adding more water as needed to get the dough to a stage where you can squeeze it together.
  3. Shape the dough into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Roll the crust out to fit a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate (about 13 inches). Transfer the pastry to the pie plate and pinch the edges into a decorative pattern. If using store-bought pie doughs, make a double crust. Unroll the first dough on the counter and brush ½ teaspoon of water over the top. Place the second dough on top of the first and roll the two out together to a 13-inch circle with a rolling pin. Transfer the double crust into the pie plate and pinch the edges into a decorative pattern. Chill the pie crust in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
  5. Place a baking sheet, pizza stone or pizza steel on the bottom rack of the oven, remove the remaining racks from the oven and pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
  6. Whisk together the eggs, half-and-half and salt for a few minutes until well combined. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Remove the chilled pie shell from the freezer. Place the spinach in the pie shell. Sprinkle the Gruyère cheese over top, followed by the cherry tomatoes. Break up the goat cheese and scatter the crumbles into the pie shell. Brush the edge of the pastry with a little bit of the egg mixture and pour the rest of it into the pie shell.
  8. Transfer the quiche to the oven and bake at 375°F for 60 minutes, until it has set in the middle. If the crust gets too dark during the baking process, gently cover the quiche with aluminum foil or wrap a ring of aluminum foil around the pastry edge.
  9. Let the quiche rest for 20 minutes before serving. Cut into wedges and serve warm with a side salad.
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Comments (5)Post a Reply

    1. You really can use any cheese you like in your quiche. For a similar consistency to goat cheese, you could use cream cheese, feta cheese or mascarpone cheese. You can also omit it all together and use a little more Gruyere cheese if you like.

  1. 5 stars
    I made his recipe but added bacon. Absolutely delicious! It will probably show up on our dinner table frequently. Thank you so much.

    1. You can bake the quiche right on the a baking sheet or pizza stone. It helps bake the bottom of the crust.

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