the celiac chronicles

caramelized fennel & spinach quiche

I picked up my CSA yesterday and so this morning (like every Sunday morning) I woke up with a full and stocked fridge.

I remembered mid-morning that I am leaving for Florida this coming Wednesday to visit my family, so all of those veggies needed to be cooked before then.  I knew my day off would need to be devoted to cooking through some to all of the vegetables.  I went on a minor spree today – and one of the things I ended up making was this quiche.  I had made it so I would have breakfast on the go for the next few work days and before my early flight – that and I had a ton of fennel to use.  So it was win-win.

This is my third omelette/quiche post in a very short time period and I apologize for that – but today was the first day in years that I put crust on a “quiche” (I usually eat crust-less) – and it was so delicious, I couldn’t wait to share! (I promise more variety when I return from Florida – I have a lot of cool posts in the works).

It seems like I used to rely on gluten more often at breakfast than at any other meal of the day.  A lot of gluten-filled products have grab and go convenience and it made work days so much easier. These grain-free days, I am always making omelettes because I feel like its the best vegetarian breakfast one could ask for, I can turn it into tasty breakfast tacos, and this is like an omelette with a crust!  Sometimes, you need that little extra something.

Mmm I just ate a small slice for an early evening snack – even if you do not like fennel, I am sure this would still blow your mind.

I am going out of town this week to visit family, so there will be some delay in posting – but I have some (almost 100% egg-free) posts planned for when I return.  One is a cocktail, one is an ode to the almighty breakfast taco, and one is a surprise.  Have a lovely week!

cast iron quiche: caramelized fennel & spinach

grain-free / meat-free / soy-free / corn-free

Quiche is one of my favorite on-the-go breakfasts to bring to work.  I usually make “crust-less” quiche on the Sunday before my work week.  This has a more filling addition of a nut crust that is a more savory alternative to the former. I bake it in my cast iron, and grease it with some good butter and fill it with whatever current combination I have thought up!

– ingredients –


  • 1 bunch spinach, about 3 cups of leaves
  • 2-3 small fennel bulbs, or 1 large one, stems removed, roots halved and cored, then sliced into thin slices
  • 3 garlic cloves, I dice mine chunkily
  • 2 green onions, chopped

dried goods | pantry | spices

  • a few dashes of cayenne pepper
  • at least 2 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • 1/2 cup white wine or old champagne

dairy | eggs

  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese

prepared ingredients: grain-free crust

– instructions –

  1. Oven should be at 350° F – for the pie crust as well. Leave your cutting board out for the cooked spinach. Before you bake the pie crust, prepare the eggs by cracking and whisking them with a pinch of salt and a few dashes of cayenne pepper.  Set aside. Heat a medium stainless steel pan over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and about 1 clove’s worth of chopped garlic.  Add spinach.  Throw in a pinch or two of kosher salt (or sea salt!) Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add 1/2 cup wine (or water). Cover and cook on medium for 4 minutes or until spinach has turned a darker green and has wilted slightly.  Remove from heat and set aside, leaving the lid on.
  2. Heat up a medium cast iron or saute pan over medium heat.  Add the rest of the garlic, green onions, and the fennel. Add a pinch of kosher salt and some freshly cracked pepper. If the pie crust dough has been prepared ahead of time, press it out and bake it at this time.  Stir fennel mixture occasionally.  You want it to cook in one spot for a few minutes to get an overall caramelization.  Add oil if the pan starts to look dry. While the fennel is cooking, strain the spinach from the pan and place on cutting board. Cut into bite sized pieces.  When fennel is finished, add a teaspoon of oil and add the cooked and chopped spinach.  Stir over medium heat until the liquid from the spinach has cooked off.
  3. When the pie crust is done baking, remove from oven.  Transfer fennel/spinach mixture to pan atop the crust.  Spread the mixture evenly and then pour eggs over.  Top with parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350° F for 30 minutes. Switch the oven to broil, and broil on high to get a good caramelization on the parmesan.
  4. Enjoy!

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Jennica February 5, 2013, 10:40 pm

    Where does the wine come in? I am guessing that replaces the water that you mentioned?

    • Holly February 6, 2013, 1:48 am

      Yes! Thanks so much for the catch, I used 1/2 cup white wine with the spinach – but you can sub water if no wine available. :)

Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post: