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Fresh spinach stars in this versatile dish

Recipe: Spinach-mushroom crustless quiche

Quiche in a square white ceramic dish
This spinach-mushroom quiche goes together easily.
(Photos: Debbie Arrington)

Spinach, eggs and cheese go together any time of day. This easy recipe combines fresh spinach, spring green onions, eggs, mushrooms and two cheeses into a crust-less quiche that’s great for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a side dish. It’s a nice dish to share with friends, too; it can travel.

Sautéing the mushrooms, onions and spinach before adding to the egg mixture eliminates their extra moisture, making a firmer (not soggy) quiche – crust or no crust.

Spinach-mushroom crustless quiche
Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter (plus more to grease baking dish)
3 green onions, chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms
3 large bunches spinach (about 6 cups, torn)
6 large eggs
1 cup cream
Dash of Tabasco sauce
1-3/4 cups Swiss cheese, grated
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Spinach leaves in a bowl
So fresh: The spinach was just picked and washed.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish; set aside.

In a large pan over medium heat, melt butter. Sauté chopped green onions (both white and green parts) and sliced mushrooms until the mushrooms start to loose their moisture, about 5 minutes.

Wash spinach and remove tough stems. Tear or cut into 1- or 2-inch pieces. Do not dry.

Add spinach, with whatever water is clinging to it, to onions and mushrooms in sauté pan, stirring to combine, and sauté until the leaves turn bright green. Cover pan, lower heat and cook briefly, about 3 to 4 minutes, until spinach is done, stirring occasionally. Watch the spinach so it doesn’t stick to the pan or burn. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add cream and dash of Tabasco; beat until blended. Fold in grated cheeses.

Fold in spinach-onion-mushroom mixture and stir until just blended.

Slice of quiche on a flowered plate
Delicious served warm or at room temperature.

Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until top is golden and a thin-bladed knife, inserted near the center, comes out clean. Let cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 3:

* Celebrate the city flower! Catch the 100th Sacramento Camellia Show 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, and 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Sunday, March 3, at the Scottish Rite Center, 6151 H St., Sacramento. Admission is free.

* Between showers, pick up fallen camellia blooms; that helps cut down on the spread of blossom blight that prematurely browns petals.

* Feed camellias after they bloom with fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

* Camellias need little pruning. Remove dead wood and shape, if necessary.

* Tread lightly or not at all on wet ground; it compacts soil.

* Avoid digging in wet soil, too; wait until it clumps in your hand but doesn’t feel squishy.

* Note spots in your garden that stay wet after storms; improve drainage with the addition of organic matter such as compost.

* Keep an eye out for leaning trunks or ground disturbances around a tree’s base, a sign of shifting roots in the wet soil.

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* If aphids are attracted to new growth, knock them off with a strong spray of water or insecticidal soap. To make your own “bug soap,” use two tablespoons liquid soap – not detergent – to one quart water in a spray bottle. Shake it up before use. Among the liquid soaps that seem most effective are Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soaps; try the peppermint scent.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Make plans for your summer garden. Once the soil is ready, start adding amendments such as compost.

* Indoors, start seeds for summer favorites such as tomatoes, peppers and squash as well as summer flowers.

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