This quiche can be made almost entirely of local ingredients. We recommend getting your guanciale (it’s cured pig jowl) from PorcSalt. You’ll find them at the Rittenhouse Square Farmers’ Market on an every-other-week basis. If you can’t swing the guanciale, sub in 1/4 pound thick-cut bacon.
1/2 a Basic Pie Dough (see below)
1/4 pound guanciale, cut into cubes
1 large onion, cut into half moons
2 garlic scapes, chopped into tiny rounds
1 large bundle chard, washed well and chopped (include the stems)
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup milk (whole or 2% is best)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Roll half of the basic pie crust out on a floured board. Carefully fit it into a deep pie crust or high-sided tart tin. Place a sheet of parchment paper into the crust and fill it with pie weights or uncooked beans (beans used in this manner will no longer be appropriate for eating, so choose carefully). Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until the crust just barely browned and no longer raw.
While the crust bakes, heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the guanciale and cook for 5-6 minutes, until it renders off much of its fat and has browned nicely. Remove the guanciale bits with a slotted spoon to a plate.
Add the chopped onions and garlic scapes to the same hot skillet and cook 3-4 minutes, until they start to caramelize. Then add the chard stems and leaves, as well as the thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Reduce the temperature and cook until the chard wilts considerably.
While the vegetables cook, whisk together the eggs, ricotta cheese and milk until it is just incorporated.
When the crust is finished blind baking, remove it from the oven, carefully lift the parchment paper and baking weights out of it and place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Spoon the vegetables into the crust, along with the reserved guanciale bits. Pour the egg, cheese and milk mixture over the vegetables. Gently mix so that the egg mixture reaches the bottom of the quiche. Sprinkle the grated parmesan over top of the quiche.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 50-55 minutes, until the top is deeply brown and the center of the quiche doesn’t jiggle when you gently shake the pan.
Let cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
Basic Pie Dough Recipe (makes enough for a two quiche crusts)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup ice water
Combine the flours, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the cold butter cubes to the bowl and pulse until the butter is incorporated into the flours and largest bits look to be the size of peas.
Then, with the motor running, slowly stream the water into the bowl using the tube. Stop once you’ve added 1/4 cup of water and test the dough by squeezing it. If it sticks together, it’s done. You want it to just barely hold together.
Divide the dough in two and wrap it in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Store in the refrigerator for at least an hour before using. Overnight is fine too. The dough can also be frozen for up to a month.
If you don’t have a food processor, pie dough is still within your grasp. Combine the flours, sugar and salt in a large bowl and whisk together. Grate very cold butter using a box grater. When it’s all grated, combine with the flours in the bowl and work together using a pastry blender or your hands. Add water drop by drop until the dough comes together. Divide and store as recommended above.