In this crust-less quiche, stinging nettles are briefly blanched in salted boiling water, then shocked, chopped and combined in a rich custard with buttered green garlic, browned cipollini onions & porcini mushrooms, fresh oregano and shredded pecorino cheese..
For the Custard (adapted from a recipe by Michael Ruhlman)
2 cups fresh whole milk
1 cup fresh heavy cream
6 pastured eggs (about 10 oz)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Whisk the eggs until frothy then stir in the remaining ingredients.
For the Filling
1 cup fresh stinging needles
1 tablespoon pastured butter
2 tablespoons green garlic, thinly sliced
1/3 cup porcini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cipollini onions, coarsley chopped
1/2 cup pecorino cheese, grated
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, coarsley chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh Italian oregano, coarsely chopped
Plunge the nettles into a pot a lightly salted boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes (the leaves will turn bright green). Immediately drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and chop as you would spinach.
Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the green garlic, mushrooms and onions and cook until light golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Lightly butter a casserole or glass pie pan then add a layer of sautéed vegetables. Top with half of the cheese and herbs, then add 1/2 of the custard mixture. Repeat with a second layer. Bake in a 350 degree oven until browned and set, about 30 minutes depending on the depth of your dish. Allow to cool 15 minutes before serving.