Leek, Lemon, and Feta Quiche

By Allison Cay Parker
January 24, 2010
76 Comments


Author Notes: While a leek quiche seems indisputably French, this recipe brings a Hellenic “Opa!” to your table with the addition of lemon, feta, and a hint of ouzo, the classic Greek aperitif. The ouzo is optional, but highly recommended. In a small dose, it brings a subtle sweet anise flavor that balances the sharp saltiness of the feta. With a fresh grating of lemon zest to brighten everything up, this quiche becomes light and cheerful, not at all heavy as some quiches can be. It’s perfect for a casual celebration meal, a Sunday brunch, or lunch to go. If you’re cooking just for one, make individual-size quiches and freeze some for later; you’ll be glad to have them on hand. Variation for Omnivores: You may want to dice 1 package of Canadian bacon (about 8 slices) and add it to the quiche at the same time as the sauteed leeks. I’ve tried it this way, too, and it’s just as nice.Allison Cay Parker

Food52 Review: Feeding the Saints aptly describes these individual little quiches as "light and cheerful." We love the delicate flavor of leeks, and crisp, airy puff pastry is a nice change from a more traditional short crust; lemon zest and ouzo lend just the right mix of lift and fragrance. We especially love the slabs of feta that, instead of being crumbled into the egg mixture, are laid gently across the top of each quiche before baking. Chilling the quiches for about twenty minutes before baking will help the pastry puff nicely and get nice and crisp. - A&MThe Editors

Serves: 1 large quiche or 4 individual-size quiches
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 45 min

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 1 pound leeks
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ouzo (optional)
  • 2 1/2 ounces feta cheese, cut into 4 (approx 1/2-inch) slices

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Thaw puff pastry according to package directions.
  2. Prepare the leeks. Rise off any visible dirt and slice the roots from the end. Remove the dark green tops, leaving a couple inches of light green with the white portion of the leeks. (The dark trimmings can be reserved for another use, adding them to a vegetable or chicken stock, for example.) Halve the leeks lengthwise, then cut crosswise in 1/2-inch slices. Dump the slices in a colander or salad spinner and rinse thoroughly; if you don’t, you risk having a gritty, sandy quiche, as leeks often hide dirt deep in their layers. Let the leeks drain well, or spin dry.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the leeks and cook until they are wilted; don’t cook them so much that they give off liquid. Turn off the heat and let sit.
  4. In a mixing bowl or large measuring cup, using a whisk or fork, beat together the half-and-half, eggs, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Add the ouzo, if using.
  5. Prepare the pastry crusts. On a lightly floured surface, or between two layers of plastic wrap or parchment paper, roll out the thawed puff pastry to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Line a shallow pie plate or cut the pastry into four circles to fill individual baking dishes. Press the pastry up the sides to make a nice edge.
  6. Fill the quiches. Distribute the leeks evenly across the bottom of the dish(es). Pour the milk mixture over the leeks. Top the quiche(s) with the slices of feta. (If you have feta that crumbles apart, don’t worry, just sprinkle it on top.)
  7. Bake 30-40 minutes, depending on size of the quiche(s). The center should be solid and the crust and top nicely browned. Let the quiche cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. The quiches taste great hot, room temperature, even cold.
  8. Enjoy with a simple green salad and a glass of chilled assyrtiko from award-winning Domaine Sigalas (Santorini).
  • This recipe is a Wildcard Contest Winner!

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Reviews (76) Questions (2)

76 Comments

violet L. September 2, 2017
There are just 3 in our family, and there was not even a crumb left of this quiche. Not only did my daughter and son-in-law love this quiche, they commented on how beautiful and appetizing the dish looked. This has become one of my saved and favorite recipes. I prepared it just as it was written, except that I used anise extract. I used only 1/8 teaspoon, because I am reluctant to serve an anise quiche. Next time I will use 1/4 teaspoon, as I would like just a hint of anise.
 
violet L. September 2, 2017
There are just 3 in our family, and there was not even a crumb left of this quiche. Not only did my daughter and son-in-law love this quiche, they commented on how beautiful and appetizing the dish looked. This has become one of my saved and favorite recipes. I prepared it just as it was written, except that I used anise extract. I used only 1/8 teaspoon, because I am reluctant to serve an anise quiche. Next time I will use 1/4 teaspoon, as I would like just a hint of anise.
 
violet L. September 2, 2017
There are just 3 in our family, and there was not even a crumb left of this quiche. Not only did my daughter and son-in-law love this quiche, they commented on how beautiful and appetizing the dish looked. This has become one of my saved and favorite recipes. I prepared it just as it was written, except that I used anise extract. I used only 1/8 teaspoon, because I am reluctant to serve an anise quiche. Next time I will use 1/4 teaspoon, as I would like just a hint of anise.
 
violet L. September 2, 2017
There are just 3 in our family, and there was not even a crumb left of this quiche. Not only did my daughter and son-in-law love this quiche, they commented on how beautiful and appetizing the dish looked. This has become one of my saved and favorite recipes. I prepared it just as it was written, except that I used anise extract. I used only 1/8 teaspoon, because I am reluctant to serve an anise quiche. Next time I will use 1/4 teaspoon, as I would like just a hint of anise.
 
ghainskom August 5, 2017
I used 1tsp anis seed powder and will be doubling up next time. Because there will be a next time :)
 
Puffin November 13, 2016
It was a hit! I used just a regular milk for half & half, added bacon(for boys), plus crust from scratch. Will definitely make again!
 
foodyjudy March 12, 2016
One more question. What size pie plate or tart pan should I use? I'm making today..
 
Cheri M. March 9, 2016
No men allowed huh! Ha ha. I think it serves 4 or if making the individual quiche you could cut it into smaller portions.<br />With a quiche this good I know which I would have.
 
foodyjudy March 9, 2016
How many does this serve? It will be for a light supper for women only. Not that they don't eat a lot!
 
CFrance December 22, 2015
You mentioned " follow the pre-baking steps for the quiche, refrigerate overnight, and bake off in the morning" I can't find this in the recipe. Can you restate how to do that, please?
 
whmcdevitt December 22, 2015
absolutely delicious!
 
sammykblack September 27, 2015
This looks delicious, can't wait to make it next weekend! Any reason not to make the crust from scratch? Wondering if the puff pastry is intentionally part of the flavor of the quiche or if it's just to save time. Thanks!
 
Shortrib July 27, 2015
A triumph! I used phyllo pastry and the result was fluffy and tender inside with a lovely crisp edge. It was plenty for dinner with broccoli and a side salad - I wouldn't limit it to brunch or lunch.... Thanks for the inspiration!
 
Cheri M. June 16, 2015
Wow this kooks amazing, I happen to have all components in as well! But is it my fibro playing up what is half and half in the recipe? (I don't have ouzo) either help
 
Horto May 4, 2014
I made 2 of these yesterday for an event. Everyone loved them and I used crushed anise seeds, didn't want to buy ouzo, worked just fine.
 
Author Comment
Allison C. May 4, 2014
Glad to know that the anise seeds worked out for you. What quantity did you use? And, thank you for trying the recipe and taking the time to pass along the compliments!
 
Horto May 4, 2014
i used2 seeds, could have used more but never cook with them only use for christmas stuff
 
Ceege March 17, 2014
Hi Allison, I plan on making two of these for our Easter brunch this year. They sound fantastic and I know all my guests will enjoy your recipe.<br /><br />I do have a question for a future batch I want to make. When making them small (individual) are they to be baked first and then frozen OR do I freeze them and bake at the later date? I do the later when I make chicken pot pies - just pull them out of freezer and bake while still frozen? Thanks for your input on this.
 
Author Comment
Allison C. March 17, 2014
Hi, Ceege. Thanks for giving my quiches a try; I'm honored that you'll serve them at Easter brunch (great occasion for these)! About your freezing question. I can only tell you what I've done in the past, which is to fully prepare, bake, and completely cool the quiches, then freeze them. That way, all that's needed is reheating the day you want to serve them. That works just fine for me. I have never tried to freeze them with unbaked filling, so I would not know how to advise you if you decide to go that route. Hope that helps, and more importantly, hope you enjoy making (and eating!) the recipe. Thanks again. ~ Allison
 
kayakgirl October 27, 2013
I made without the puff pastry (gluten free guest)-thought quiche was quick and delicious- unusual but tasty combo of flavors. Only change I made was threw in 1 more egg and used sambuco instead. Only criticism was came out oddly salty. But will def make again, just halving the salt. Most of my quiches come out tasting all the same so this was a pleasant surprise.
 
Author Comment
Allison C. October 28, 2013
The saltiness might be due to type of feta used. More likely: did you use kosher salt or regular table salt? 1 tsp of table salt is *much* more salt than 1 tsp of kosher salt. The tiny grains pack together much closer, giving you more salt for the same volume.
 
prb13 October 26, 2013
I made this for a family in my school community. Cautious children, parents & grandparents all loved it! It's now my go to, when bringing food to a family, in need. I've also made the filling as crust less mini-quiches, in a mini muffin pan.
 
Author Comment
Allison C. October 28, 2013
I LOVE the knowledge that my recipe is a "go to" for families in need. Thank you so much for sharing that. Also, I would not have thought to try the filling in mini muffin pans w/o the crust. I'll have to try that myself sometime.
 
Eat A. May 20, 2013
Beautiful stuff. I love leeks, and I love Feta. Is there anything that can be used to substitute or emulate ouzo?
 
dymnyno May 20, 2013
You can use another liquorice tasting licquor like raki or use anise seed.
 
Author Comment
Allison C. May 20, 2013
Eat Already!, thanks for the comment. As dymnyno says (thanks for chiming in so quickly, since I couldn't get online)... other anise-flavored liquor would work. Raki maybe not as easy to find as the French Ricard or Pastis or the Italian Sambuca, any of which would work. If you're worried about the booze: the alcohol is baked off, leaving just the flavor so I don't think that's a problem. If expense is the issue (you don't want to buy a bottle for a small recipe quantity), you could use a smaller amount of anise extract (I'd start with just 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon). If for religious reasons or you simply do not like the idea of alcohol, you can use aniseed (anis seed or, probably better, ground anis)... try 1 teaspoon ground. Let us know what you decide to do, I'd love to hear.
 
I_Fortuna April 22, 2016
You can also use Absinthe which is something I usually have on hand.<br />You can also buy non-alcoholic anise extract. : )
 
Dagir April 23, 2013
Can this be baked the night before and reheated the next morning? Thanks.
 
Author Comment
Allison C. April 23, 2013
I have refrigerated leftovers and reheated, so I'm sure that's fine. It still tasted great the next day. Or, if you have the time for morning baking (just not the prep work), you can follow the pre-baking steps for the quiche, refrigerate overnight, and bake off in the morning.