Cooking 101

Salmon quiche with a dill crust adapts easily to individual tastes

Luke Nestler’s Salmon Broccoli Quiche features a dill crust.
Luke Nestler’s Salmon Broccoli Quiche features a dill crust. Styled by Jen Albrecht, Johnson County Community College

Luke Nestler wanted to make a tasty dish that used a lot of his favorite flavors and that would work cohesively. He chose a simple salmon broccoli quiche recipe.

“The richness of salmon ideally complements the equally strong taste of broccoli and black pepper, and the dill crust makes this dish burst with bold flavor,” he says.

Nestler likes to use smoked salmon in his recipe because that smokiness infuses the custard during baking.

“If you have time, making your own cold-smoked salmon allows you to control the flavor by the seasonings used,” he says. “Store packaged smoked salmon tends to be saltier.”

If salmon is not a favorite, then substitute with another protein like sausage or bacon, and the same for the cheese and vegetables.

“Make it your own combination,” Nestler says. “If you can follow directions, have time and enjoy the kitchen, this dish will make you feel like you really accomplished something.”

About the chef

Luke Nestler is a fourth semester student in the Johnson County Community College Chef Apprentice and Hospitality Management Program. He works as a line cook at J. Wilson’s (formerly Marisco’s) Restaurant in Lawrence.

About the column

Cooking 101 is an occasional column exclusive to The Star designed to introduce home cooks to basic cooking techniques. The recipe, food styling and photography are a joint project between culinary students and instructors at Johnson County Community College’s Hospitality and Management Program.

About the food stylist

Jen Albracht is a Johnson County Community College interior design student. She works with the chef and photographer to find the props and arrange the best shot.

Salmon Quiche With Arugula Salad

Makes 1 quiche (6 to 8 servings)

For the crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

1 tablespoon fresh dill

8 tablespoons cold butter, diced in 1-inch pieces

5 tablespoons cold water

For the filling:

2 pounds smoked salmon

1 pound broccoli florets, trimmed and chopped into bite-size pieces

1 pound shredded havarti dill cheese

6 eggs

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup half-and-half

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

For the salad:

1 pound baby arugula

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup red onion, cut in thin slices

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Pinch of salt

Pinch of black pepper

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a 3-quart mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, black pepper and fresh dill. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in cold butter until mealy. Add water and mix until a dough forms. Wrap in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes

On floured surface, roll out dough to  1/8 -inch thick circle. Lay dough in a 9-inch pie pan. Using a fork, poke a few holes in the bottom and sides of the crust and shape edges as desired. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Roll each slice of smoked salmon into a small tube and evenly layer the bottom of the pie crust. Sprinkle the chopped broccoli evenly over the salmon, then evenly sprinkle with shredded havarti cheese.

In a 2-quart mixing bowl, using a small whip, combine eggs, cream, half-and-half, salt and white pepper. Fill crust with egg custard. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 300 degrees and continue baking until quiche is set, about 20 minutes. Remove quiche from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Cut into six or eight portions

To make salad: In a large mixing bowl, toss together arugula, capers, red onions and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on dinner plate next to wedge of salmon quiche.

Per serving, based on 6: 991 calories (72 percent from fat), 80 grams total fat (42 grams saturated), 437 milligrams cholesterol, 13 grams carbohydrates, 57 grams protein, 2,856 milligrams sodium, 3 grams dietary fiber.