Make Ahead

Leek, Lemon, and Feta Quiche

January 24, 2010
4 Stars
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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&M —The Editors

  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 1 large quiche or 4 individual-size quiches
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
In This Recipe
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).
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Melissa Case
    Melissa Case
  • foodyjudy
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  • Cheri Mayell
    Cheri Mayell
  • Horto
    Horto
  • Allison Cay Parker
    Allison Cay Parker

81 Reviews

anthonyk September 29, 2021
Delicious, added to my cookbook so I can keep making this again and again!

Took a few liberties in my own take by substituting scotch for the ouzo and also a combination of cashew milk / vegan butter for the half and half
 
[email protected] January 31, 2021
Very tasty indeed, didn’t have ouzo but want to now.
 
Marielle October 8, 2020
What a delicious quiche! The lemon zest adds such a great touch. I didn’t have ouzo but I added about 1/2 tsp of oregano (I mean it’s hard to have feta without oregano dont you think?) and it turned out great. Even my two young boys ate their whole plate and it doesn’t happen often. New staple at my house for sure.
 
Darian January 3, 2019
I made this last night and it was delicious! Even without the ouzo, simply because I didn't have any. We are no huge anise fans anyway. I served 4 people with a side salad, and next time I might need to make 2! I made one quiche in a 9-inch pie pan.
 
Melissa C. December 25, 2018
I've made this as my Christmas breakfast three years running. It is absolutely glorious and something my family looks forward to every year!
 
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.
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