Gouda, Coleslaw & Caraway Quiche

Wait – don’t go. Hear me out.

Last week I made a resolution to use the food I have in my kitchen, rather than go shop for more, deciding what’s for dinner depending on my mood or the (near-constant) desire to try something new. I go for milk and eggs and come home with bags full of whatever was inspiring or on sale at the time, and then can hardly cram it into my cupboards and freezer. I think this is pretty typical, considering the fact that walk-in pantries and chest freezers are standard issue in most houses.

I hear a lot of people refer fondly to their fridges as that place produce goes to die. And it’s true – in North America (Canada very much included) it’s estimated that we throw out 40-50% of the food we buy. Half! Can you imagine the spending on groceries that takes place across the country on a daily basis? And that half of those purchases are tossed out? (Or composted, but still.) Besides the actual food waste, consider how much time and energy went into growing or producing all that food, transporting it, stocking shelves, even driving to the store to buy it. And it winds up tossed. A study last year estimated the annual cost to be $27.7 billion. Billion! That pipeline project everyone is talking about costs a measly $7 billion in comparison.

Alright, I’ll get to the point. Didn’t mean to get all preachy.

So what do you do when someone brings over a hunk of caraway Gouda so big it’ll keep you in cheese and crackers for a month? And you can’t do grilled cheese because of your six year old’s reaction to little bits in his cheese? You turn to the all-knowing intra-net and search for something to make with caraway and cheese in it. You go to Epicurious and punch in “Gouda” and “caraway”. If you’re lucky, something will pop up that makes use of that enormous bag of coleslaw you bought with the best intentions.

To make this quiche you cook a few slices of chopped bacon with an onion, and when the bacon is crisp and its fat rendered, you throw in a few handfuls of cabbage and cook it down. (A great use of bagged coleslaw – especially the last of the bag, which tends to get wilty.) When I did this, it seemed like the most natural thing in the world – like a fantastic warm bacon slaw. But as it cooked down it became more dense, as cooked vegetables do, and it made a great filling. Especially with the odd thin shard of carrot and purple cabbage – colour is always a good thing.

So yes, a cabbage and caraway quiche is an entirely unlikely thing to ever come out of my oven – but at the same time, MacGyvering my way through dinner pushed me out of my comfort zone, and the results were totally delicious. So good, in fact, that I made one of these a week ago, and then another this morning for my sister’s birthday brunch. The reaction around the table? “What’s in this? It’s delicious!” It wasn’t as easily identifiable as your typical ham & cheese or spinach quiche.

But you know how everything you make just sort of tastes like everything else you make? That you have your spice roster and don’t often edge out beyond it? Caraway is not typically a part of my culinary palette. It’s a fine spice, I have nothing against it, I just don’t really use it. I don’t think I could even locate any among the vast number of small jars and baggies that make up my spread-out spice non-rack. But with the creamy cheese and smoky bacon, it totally worked.

I’m not a quiche maker. But frittata tends to be my fall-back leftovers-user, and they aren’t much different. I contemplated skipping the crust, but then recalled how much I love a good wedge of quiche in a restaurant, and I went for it. I do love a good pie crust, and that you can get away with a slightly softer, more velvety filling when you’re not relying on it to hold its own.





Gouda, Coleslaw & Caraway Quiche

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18 comments on “Gouda, Coleslaw & Caraway Quiche

  1. stacey snacks
    January 23, 2012 at 8:21 am

    OK, this sounds really weird, but for some weird reason, I want a piece!

  2. Gemma
    January 23, 2012 at 8:52 am

    This just seems so odd… But you have never steered me wrong before, Julie, so I may have to give it a try!

  3. Avery
    January 23, 2012 at 10:00 am

    For some reason this combo doesn’t strike me as odd at all… this would be great for an Oktoberfest brunch! Cabbage? Bacon? Cheese? Crust? Caraway? What’s not to like? 🙂

  4. kickpleat
    January 23, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I’m all about using what I’ve got, so this actually intrigued me. I love cabbage! Good work 🙂

  5. Vivian
    January 23, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Classic Alsatian flavours and really pretty to look at.

  6. Cathy Norrie
    January 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Mmmmmm… sounds delish and I seem to be on a savoury pie kick these days (made a turkey pot pie the other night to help clean out my freezer – there goes another empty large yogurt pottle into the recycle bin)… so this will be perfect for tonight’s dinner! Thanks, as always, for your inspirations, Julie!

  7. Jan @ Family Bites
    January 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Nice! I’m trying to “use it up” too these days, so this is great. What a great combination of foods.

  8. Laurie from Burnaby
    January 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Oh, delicious! What a combination of French method and German inclusions! I’ll completely make this! Thank you

  9. Bonnie Vox
    January 23, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Nice call on using slaw in quiche. I had leftover cabbage from making borscht and threw a slaw together with apples and leftover from xmas spiced nuts. For you bacontarians out there, I’m sure a sprinkle would have been good on top.

  10. jake
    January 24, 2012 at 10:36 am

    nice! love caraway. and cheese, and cabbage, and bacon. not strange at all.

    I did a use-up on the weekend too: Curried vegs (garden potatoes and shallots from the basement, frozen garden spinach and peas – all from my Okotoks garden), Whole wheat chapatis, Tamarind chutney and Mango lassi. It made 3 days worth of eating! The last of it was a 1 minute supper last night when i got home from a 800km+ day trip for a meeting.

  11. B_Licious
    January 24, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    How weird is this combination? And how delicious! Can you believe I was inspired to make this for my picky eater son because I had all the ingredients in the house? I made the pie crust from scratch, which turned out *ok*. But picky eater even ate the quiche!! I made two. Both without the onion and for the kids without caraway. I sauteed the cabbage (no cole slaw mix) with the bacon as suggested. Ours (with the caraway) was delicious. Thanks.

  12. Ashley
    January 24, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    This sounds amazing! Great use of what was available in your kitchen. I’m trying to focus more on that too.

  13. AJDoula
    January 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Your comment about going to the grocery store for milk and eggs and coming home with bags of stuff made me laugh – my kids call it the $70 jug of milk!

  14. natalie - ga
    January 24, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Way to sell this! I read the title and almost didn’t read and had to laugh at your first line… you make anything look yummy!

  15. Tara S
    January 25, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    I admit this sounded really gross. But it looks FANTASTIC!! And I always struggle with getting through an entire bag of coleslaw. Thanks for another great idea!

  16. ester
    January 30, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    nice! and your crust looks so good! I am working on pie crusts and still need to keep at it so I’ll try this recipe next. Thanks!

  17. Loli
    February 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Thank-you Julie! Used Turkey bacon and old cheddar instead of fattening bacon and cut the cheese in half using Old. WOW! But, I used Tenderflake pie crust out of the freezer….next time will try to make my own crust!

  18. GoviP
    April 25, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I made it with pointed ‘sweetheart’ cabbage. It’s really yummy. No bacon, but carrots, and half the amount of caraway seeds. Loved it~

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