This easy summer quiche loaded with fresh corn, smoky bacon, parmesan cheese and thinly sliced zucchini makes a fabulous entree for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
This Easy Zucchini Summer Quiche has been evolving here at The Café for the past few weeks. Scott's enjoyed trying lots of different renditions of this seasonal savory tart. And when I gave a few slices to our son Nick and his wife Lindsay on Sunday morning, I got two texts right after lunch that day: "The quiche was delicious!" and, "It was awesome!"
I feel like that's a pretty good "seal of approval". Nick has always been one of my biggest, but at the same time, most honest encouragers. Both he and Lindsay really enjoy good food (he got that trait honestly) and are on my taste-testing team. If they say it's good, I know it's probably pretty close to being ready for the blog. One sweet Café reader summed this up in a comment a few months ago:
Every post I have tried that your son has given his accolades to I have been super pleased. You might consider having a "Nick approved" tab for easy location of the best of the best recipes.
Haha! So there you have it - you can be assured (even if you don't believe me) that this is one delicious summer quiche!
So easy to put together
If you're thinking a tart like this is complicated to make, think again! We're employing a grocery store pie crust and a little magic to make it crisp and delicious. There's no "blind baking", a technique often called for with tarts and quiches which involves pre-baking the crust (filled with rice, dry beans or pie weights) before adding the filling. Blind baking is time-consuming (and to me, a pain in the neck!) but it does keep the crust from being soggy. (Call me lazy, but I often avoid recipes calling for blind baking.)
This recipe forgoes the blind baking by simply placing a sheet pan on the bottom rack of the oven while it preheats, then baking the quiche on this lower rack and hot pan. The heat from the pan and the bottom of the oven does a great job of turning the crust golden and keeping it crisp.
To me, this delicious summer quiche is like the proverbial "little black dress". It can be dressed up or down. You can serve it as a simple breakfast entree with a side of fresh, seasonal fruit, but it can also be "fancied up" for a lady's lunch or an elegant dinner party option. Add a delicious fresh salad (like this one or this one) and some warm crusty bread and you've got a meal worthy of royalty!
Another bonus of this savory tart is that it can be made in advance and simply warmed up in the oven before serving. I love recipes that allow me to enjoy my guests and keep relaxed at the last minute.
What's the difference between a quiche and a tart?
Mostly semantics, although there are a few distinctions. Quiche is pretty much always savory where a tart can be either sweet or savory. Another difference is that quiche has a custardy base filling in contract to tarts, which can have any type of filling, including a custardy base like this Easy Zucchini Summer Quiche.
So call it a tart or a quiche, whichever suits your fancy! Your guests will have another description, like our sweet Nick and Lindsay; they'll say it's "delicious" and "awesome" and probably other superlatives. Bon Appétit!
Café Tips for making this Easy Zucchini Summer Quiche
- This recipe calls for a purchased pie crust, not the kind you find in the freezer section of the grocery store, but the type you'll find in the dairy area. I really like the Pillsbury pie crusts, although there may be generic brands that are equally delicious.
- The cheese in this recipe is variable. I love to use Fontina. Fontina is an Italian cheese that's super creamy, buttery and has a low melting point. Boars Head makes a wonderful Fontina that's readily available in grocery stores that feature Boars Head in their deli section. Other options would be provolone, gouda, or gruyere. You could also use a mild white cheddar.
- Zucchini has a high water content and can make a tart or quiche soggy if not cooked in advance. I started out sautéeing the zucchini for this quiche but, (always looking for an easier way to do things) experimented with another technique that has worked out well. I just slice the zucchini thinly and then transfer it to a sieve and sprinkle it with salt. It's amazing how much liquid is given off in a short period of time. After 15-20 minutes, just rinse off the salt and place the zucchini on a clean kitchen towel to dry off. It's just as good as if you'd dirtied another pan to sauté it!
- This tart can be made ahead and warmed before serving OR all of the components (the crust, cheeses, zucchini, corn, and egg mixture) can be prepped ahead and stored individually in the refrigerator. This makes it super simple to put everything together for an easy freshly baked quiche.
- I use a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom for this quiche. You could use an 11-inch pan, but you will need to roll the pie crust a little larger. You can also use a traditional pie pan.
- I like to use good, smoky bacon for this recipe. Thick-cut, applewood smoked bacon is perfect. Most larger grocery stores carry applewood-smoked bacon. We really enjoy the brands that Sam's Club, Costco and Trader Joes carry.
Thought for the day:
The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house,
yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
- 1 refrigerated pie crust I use Pillsbury (there are usually 2 crusts in a box. You just need one.)
- 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon
- 3 ears corn
- 2 medium-small zucchini thinly sliced
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup grated Fontina cheese
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup cream or half and half
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves plus more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Unroll the dough on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle with one tablespoon of the parmesan cheese. Press the cheese into the dough with your fingers. Fit the crust into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (or a pie pan), trimming off or crimping any extra dough around the perimeter. Freeze the crust in the pan for 15 minutes or refrigerate for at least 1 hour (you can do this a day ahead, if desired) while you prepare the other ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Place a sheet pan on the lowest rack of the oven.
Slice the zucchini thinly and place in a sieve set in the sink or over a bowl. Sprinkle the zucchini with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and toss with your hands. Allow to drain for 15-20 minutes while preparing the rest of the filling.
Slice the bacon into ½-inch pieces and cook in a medium-size sauté pan until crisp and golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on several thicknesses of paper towels.
Place corn in the microwave with the husks on. Microwave for 7 minutes then remove to a cutting board using a hot pad or thick kitchen towel. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then cut an inch slice from both ends and peel off the silks and husks. Lie one ear of corn on the cutting board and slice off the kernels (being careful not to cut into the tough center of the cob), rotating the corn as you go. Discard the cob. Repeat for the other two ears of corn. Place sliced corn in a medium-size bowl.
Rinse the zucchini under cool running water. Transfer the slices to a clean kitchen towel and pat dry. Add the zucchini, half of the bacon and the cheeses to the bowl with the corn and stir gently to combine.
Remove the pie shell from the refrigerator and transfer the corn/zucchini mixture to the pan.
Combine the eggs, cream, thyme, salt and pepper in a small bowl or measuring up and stir with a fork or whisk until well combined. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the filling working your way around the pan. Sprinkle the remaining bacon pieces over the top.
Bake the quiche on the preheated pan (on the lower rack) for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden and filling is set. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from the tart pan and serve. This quiche can be made a day ahead, cooled and refrigerated. Before serving, rewarm in a 325˚F oven for 15-20 minutes.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips.
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