When I was thinking of what I would call this dish, I was trying to decide whether it’s a baked omelette, frittata, or a quiche. Ultimately, I decided it’s a quiche, sans crust, because technically frittatas and omelettes aren’t made with any milk or cream, whereas a quiche is. Typically, a quiche is made with cheese, lardon (pork fat), cream, and of course eggs. This batter is poured over a baked pie crust or shortbread crust to be enjoyed at almost any meal time. I remember going to a small cafe in Saint-Germain, surprised to see a quiche lorraine (the traditional quiche) as an appetizer on the lunch menu. I had always thought of quiche as a breakfast food. I ended up ordering the French onion soup as my appetizer because I just couldn’t fathom eating quiche as an appetizer – it’s far too heavy! In any case, I guess it’s more surprising to find out that the original quiche didn’t have any cheese in it, because finding one without cheese these days is a rarity. Although, maybe this isn’t really that surprising as, hello, cheese makes everything better, right?
While I love a good pie crust, it can make an egg dish like this feel too heavy in the mornings. I’m much more of a toast and jam sort of girl, so when I do have eggs, I’d rather have a piece of toast to go with it than pie crust. This sun-dried tomato quiche is my go-to egg dish to make because it’s really flavorful. I can’t believe I didn’t like sun-dried tomatoes as a kid because I absolutely love them now. Just a couple tablespoons of chopped sun-dried tomatoes will really add a lot of flavor to this batter; I usually add anywhere from 2 to 4 tablespoons depending on how big of a quiche I’m making.
Before I bake the batter, I sauté some onion and garlic in a pan with some good olive oil. This combo in itself can transform eggs into a deliciously savory meal, but in this case, it’s another dimension of flavor. After the two are cooked in the pan, I add the eggs that have been whisked with a couple tablespoons of heavy cream, sun dried tomatoes, chopped fresh basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and a little bit of grated sharp cheddar cheese (any kind of cheese works, though) to the pan of onions and garlic. I place the pan in the oven and bake the eggs for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. When it’s nearly done, I sprinkle a little more cheese on top to melt, then pull it out of the oven and garnish with fresh basil leaves.
The sun-dried tomato flavor adds this perfect, all-in-one balance of sweet, tart, and salty to the eggs in a way fresh tomatoes just can’t really do. While the amount of cream is not significant, don’t feel tempted to swap it out for milk. The cream’s ability to make the eggs moist and almost custard-like is greater than that of milk’s. The fat content also does taste more favorable on the palate, so there’s that too. This is the kind of breakfast you could eat outside in the sun, with a mimosa and some loved ones, and easily feel like you’ve been transported to the south of France for a Provencal morning.
P.S. I just came across this gorgeous video of Paris in my Facebook feed. I thought I would share so that you could all enjoy some of my favorite city’s beautiful sights as well!