I have some baby spinach I was thinking of layering into a quiche. Do you think that would work? Or does it need to be wilted and drained first? It's very young and tender baby spinach, so I'm tempted to skip that step, but don't want the quiche to be soggy. Advice anyone?



beyondcelery January 23, 2011
I actually tried that once, putting fresh spinach leaves into a quiche and trying to cover it with the egg mixture. Doesn't work. (Well, it's still edible if you're a poor college student.) What I do now is saute my onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil, then toss in the spinach, cover, and wilt it about 30-40 seconds. The leaves are still only partially wilted when I put them into the pastry, but their volume is significantly decreased and a lot of the water has come off (don't pour that out from your pan).
innoabrd January 23, 2011
I'm mostly with pierino on this, but rather than blanching, I always just wilt it in a covered pot with only the water that clings to the leaves after washing. And then, yes, squeeze the heck out of it and leave it to drain for a bit. You want the flavour of the spinach, not the extra water.
betteirene January 23, 2011
I saute and squeeze for quiches and fritattas and omelets because that's what Julia Child told me to do.

I always had real wet pizza--and I mean dripping wet slices--when I used to put raw spinach between the cheese and the sauce. It wasn't until I got my copy of "Mastering" that I learned how much water spinach contains. It doesn't matter how old the spinach is or how it is cooked--its juice begins to exude the minute the heat gets to it.

You might get away with it if you use less cream. . .if you have an oven-safe bowl, you can bake a spoonful of the custard with a few of the fresh leaves to see what happens, but I'd probably lose this bet.
RobertaJ January 23, 2011
Yeah, I'd be worried it would weep out a lot of moisture into your custard as it got heated....quiche is typically baked for a fairly long time, and the spinach is going to cook right along with everything else.

Maybe saute it instead of blanching and squeezing? In some good olive oil, with a little garlic, and the press dry a bit and mix into your custard. I'd cut it down a bit, so you don't have whole leaves, then saute and dry. But I really don't think I'd mix it in raw.
pierino January 22, 2011
My approach would indeed be to blanche the spinach. Drain it and then squeeze it dry by hand, getting out as much moisture as you can. After that I would chop it fairly roughly. Don't forget to add grated nutmeg to your quiche.
Kayb January 22, 2011
H'mm. I've had an omelet with fresh baby spinach folded inside, but that doesn't get as much heat as it would in a quiche. I think if I were going to try it, I'd fold it into my beaten eggs and cream, so the spinach would all be coated, before I poured all that into the pie shell. I'm not a spinach fan, especially, so it's not something I'd try, but I'll be interested to see how it turns out.
nutcakes January 22, 2011
Interesting idea. If I tried it, I would chiffonade the spinach. I'm afraid you might have a volume issue with not getting enough spinach to be covered by the egg. You know how much it shrinks when it wilts, so maybe you will have to have a massive pile up of spinach to have enough in the quiche, but the part out of the eggs might crisp instead of wilt. I think your concern about it making the quiche watery is valid. I'll be interested to see if anyone has tried it.
Recommended by Food52