I quite dislike the term ‘last gasp,’ especially as it is bandied about this time of year. Suddenly, every event and weather condition takes on a sort of melancholy freneticism: a trip to the beach, a streak of fog-free days, a camping trip, a perfectly ripe peach.
A skillet quiche brimming with the summery flavors of sweet corn, tomatoes and basil.
Here in San Francisco, our Indian summer is just kicking into gear. Though pomegranates and pesky pomes are popping up in the markets, there shouldn’t be any ‘gasping’ around these parts for at least another month.
For now, the markets and our boxes are still full of the flavors of summer – ears of sweet corn, baskets brimming with cherry tomatoes, bunches of verdant basil – and baking them into a simple crustless quiche makes me happy. This is no fritatta – eggs are whisked with a generous amount of half and half, so that the final result resembles more closely the creaminess of a quiche filling than the drier, sometimes rubbery quality that a fritatta can take on. But it is baked right in a skillet, so you can enjoy the brilliant days of early fall outdoors, rather than slaving over a cold pie crust inside.
Mop the juices from this brunch-worthy creation with a hunk of crusty bread, and serve with some crisp mixed greens on the side. You may recognize this as a reincarnation of the Asparagus and Chevre Crustless Skillet Quiche from last spring. I am keen on the versatility of this recipe, as it can be adapted to the seasons. Just don’t go putting any tubers, roots or crucifers in it. Not just yet.
This crustless skillet quiche may make you gasp with pleasure. Hopefully, it will not be your last.
Crustless Skillet Quiche with Sweet Corn, Summer Squash and Cherry Tomatoes
Serves 2 – 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 small zucchini, halved and sliced thinly
1/4 teaspoon salt
kernals from 1 cob of corn
2 – 3 ounces mozzarella, sliced or grated
1 – 2 ounces goat cheese
2 tablespoons chopped basil, plus more for garnish
a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup half and half (or a combination of milk and cream)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375º.
In a 6″ cast iron (or other ovenproof) skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until golden and tender, about 10 minutes. Add the zucchini and saute until tender and beginning to brown, 8-10 minutes. Add the 1/4 teaspoon salt and the corn kernals and saute one more minute, then remove from the heat.
Layer the mozzarella, goat cheese, basil and cherry tomatoes over the top.
In a large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, half and half and 1/2 teaspoon of salt until smooth. Pour into the skillet.
Bake the quiche until puffed, golden and set, about 20 minutes. Let cool a few minutes before serving.