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Spinach & Feta Quiche with Kalamata Olive Tapenade and the Food Bloggers LA July Meeting

Posted By Lynne On July 31, 2010 @ 1:37 am In Appetizers, Breakfast and Brunch, Events, Food Bloggers Los Angeles, Sandwiches, Side Dishes | 28 Comments

Last Saturday the FBLA (Food Bloggers Los Angeles) group got together to eat, talk and discuss. It is so much fun to be with this group and just talk about food blogging, and nobody thinks you’re boring or crazy. Everyone brought food for the buffet, and it was a delicious spread. I brought the Spinach and Feta Quiche with Kalamata Olive Tapenade and here is a mosaic of the dishes everyone brought.

After stuffing ourselves on our magnificent food, Patti Londre of Worth the Whisk led a discussion on the relationship between food bloggers and PR reps – the ethics, how to get ads, how to get sponsorship, etc. We talked about what you can and can’t do if you have a personal sponsorship when you attend a conference or event. Also what you can offer your personal sponsor. We also talked about ways to promote our blogs, such as sending out newsletters.

The smart and talented bloggers who attended this very interesting and informative meeting were:

Adair of Lentil Breakdown
Agi of One More Bite
Cheryl of Black Girl Chefs Whites
Dorothy of Shockingly Delicious
Erika of In Erika’s Kitchen
Gisele of Small Pleasures Catering/painperdu
Greg of SippitySup
Nancy of A Communal Table
Patti of Worth the Whisk
Suz of You Can’t Eat What?

We will be having a meeting in August, so if you are a food blogger who lives in Los Angeles and would like to attend, let me know. I’ll get the information to you.

Spinach & Feta Quiche with Kalamata Olive Tapenade

Note: If you are serving this as an entrée, the tart slices can be set on a bed of Tomato or Marinara Sauce of your choice. This makes a beautiful presentation and adds another dimension to the wonderful flavors.

425 F / 375 F
11-inch tart pan

3 cups (15oz) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup (8oz) (2 sticks) chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg
6-8 tablespoons ice water
¾ cup (3oz) shredded Swiss cheese

Spinach Filling
2 packages (10oz each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped onion or shallots
10 green onions, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
2/3 cup (1oz) chopped fresh dill
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
3 eggs
1 cup half-and-half cream
½ cup heavy (double) cream
¼ pound (4oz) feta cheese, preferably French

Kalamata Olive Tapenade
Tomato or Marinara Sauce, if using

1. To make the pastry, in a bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

2. In a small bowl, using a fork, beat the egg with 2 tablespoons of the ice water. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture and 2 more tablespoons ice water. Using the fork, mix lightly, adding more ice water as needed until the mixture holds together. Pat into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

4. On a floured work surface, roll out the pastry into a round about 3/8-inches thick.  Transfer to an 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, fitting snugly into sides and bottom. Run rolling pin over top edge of tart pan and remove excess dough. There will be enough excess for another small tart. Cover the outside of the tart pan with aluminum foil, to prevent leaking in your oven. Prick the bottom in several places with a fork. Press a piece of aluminum foil, shiny side down, onto the crust, and freeze for about 30 minutes.

5. Bake the foil-lined pastry shell for 8 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the crust looks dull, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the Swiss cheese.

6. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

7. Meanwhile, make the filling: Drain the spinach and squeeze dry in paper towels. Remove any large stems and thoroughly chop the spinach. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the oil. Add the yellow and green onions and garlic, and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes.

8. Add the spinach and sauté, stirring and breaking up any clumps, until completely wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the dill and pepper and continue sautéing for about 2 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasonings: the mixture should taste peppery. Let cool for 5-6 minutes.

9. In a bowl, whisk the eggs until blended, then whisk in the half-and-half and cream. Crumble the feta cheese into the spinach and stir in the cream mixture. Pour into the prebaked shell. It will look like there is too much filling, but it really fits perfectly. Move the solids towards the tart rim.

10. Bake until the filling is puffed and light brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes.

11. Cut into serving-size pieces and spread each with Kalamata Olive Tapenade. Serve. Pass extra tapenade in a small bowl.

Kalamata Olive Tapenade

Makes about 1 cup

1 1/4 cup black Kalamata olives with pits, yielding 1 packed cup of olive meat
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest from 1 lemon
1-2 garlic cloves, pressed
4 large leaves basil, minced (1 tablespoon)
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon orange zest (optional)

1. Remove pits from olives.

2. Place all ingredients in a mini food processor and process until a paste is formed.

3. Transfer to a clean container and refrigerate until needed. Will keep three to four weeks.

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