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I’m back! So much of my time for the past month or so was spent helping to plan the first annual Backyard Barter’s Urban Food Fair, and the event was a hit! The barter was one of the biggest I’ve been to, the contests were a blast (a sweet 7 year old boy came in second in the jam contest, to most peoples’ delight) and we had really incredible raffle prizes to give away, courtesy of some generous local businesses and individuals. I was honored to work with some incredible folks: Philip from Readers to Eaters had a table with a selection of books (many of which I love or can’t wait to read) and Tina from Big Spoon Jam donated the most adorable tote bag and a few of her jams as a raffle prize. The panel of judges was (selfishly?) full of ladies I am fans of and wanted to work with: Brook from Learn to Preserve; Becca, a gluten-free baker and quilter; Chris and Addy from Food Revolution Snohomish Co.; Leslie from Fresh-Picked Seattle; Joy and Mary from A Passionate Plate; and Siiri from A Half Cup. The feedback I got from participants, judges and exhibitors was overwhelmingly positive and encouraging. The other members of the event committee worked so hard to pull various details together and I will truly miss working with them so closely. I hope we can make the Urban Food Fair an annual tradition.

Now that I have my afternoons back, I have so many recipes to share with you, and I’m starting with a favorite: bacon leek quiche. Growing up, quiche was something we had fairly often, usually as part of “breakfast for dinner” with baked kielbasa. It is quick to make and fairly inexpensive, a great way to use up odds and ends of cheese or vegetables in your fridge. My Mom makes a mean broccoli quiche, with or without ham, and one with a combination of Swiss cheese and crabmeat that may sound odd but tastes so good. I like quiche as much or even more the next day and will eat most varieties cold. I don’t make it as often these days, primarily because of my ongoing (soon to be conquered, I swear) fear of making pie crust. But, when I can convince the mister to make a crust, I love making quiche. In this case, the promise that I would include bacon was enough for him to get out the pastry board and get to work. Salty bacon and sweet leeks are accented with gruyere cheese to make a satisfying meal, whether served for breakfast or dinner. Use homemade or store-bought crust as you like, gluten-free or traditional, or use the same ingredients to make a flavorful frittata. You can make it ahead and serve cool, or reheat in a low oven. Served with a garden or spinach salad, bacon leek quiche makes a great weekday meal.

Bacon Leek Quiche

  • 1 9″ pie crust
  • 3 – 5 slices of bacon
  • 2 large leeks, light green and white parts only, washed and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 c. whole milk*
  • 1 c. gruyere cheese, shredded

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until it’s brown and crisp; remove the cooked bacon to a cooling rack placed over a plate or cutting board so the excess fat drips off. Discard all but 1 T. bacon drippings; cook the sliced leeks in the bacon drippings for 5-7 mins., until they are softened and fragrant. Add the thyme, salt & pepper and mix to combine. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Spoon the cooled leeks into the bottom of your pie crust and slowly pour the egg mixture over the top. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon on and then cover with shredded gruyere. Bake the quiche for 40-50 mins., until the top is golden brown and the eggs have set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 mins. or so before serving, or cool to room temperature, cover tightly and refrigerate. If you are reheating a previously-made quiche, make sure to bring it to room temperature before putting it into the oven so you don’t shatter the pie plate.

*You can replace half or all of the milk with cream for a richer quiche, but I find that whole milk works quite well.