Sunday Night Supper: Crustless Onion Quiche

Monday, February 22, 2010

This recipe has everything.

It is inexpensive, easy, simultaneously light and rich, vegetarian and low-carb (if you care about such things) and, most importantly, delicious.

Which is why it has been a household favorite for ten years running.

Served alongside a green salad and a chilly glass of white wine, Crustless Onion Quiche is the perfect Sunday Night Supper.

The recipe comes from one my most loved and well worn cookbooks, Patricia Wells At Home In Provence: Recipes Inspired By Her Farmhouse In France.

It is a classic.

If you associate French food with heavy sauces and feats of culinary contortion performed by grouchy men in toques, open this book and be inspired.

Patricia's approach is everything I love: seasonal, simple, sophisticated, grounded.

Hers is real home cooking, that has neither been dumbed-down nor requires a degree from Cordon Bleu.

Patricia suggests serving the quiche warm, 'cut into thin wedges'.

I divided the entire dish into four equal slabs and it was gone seconds later.

The proof, my friends, is in the empty dish.


Crustless Onion Quiche, from Patricia Wells At Home In Provence

500g/1 lb onions, peeled
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste*
4 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
3 Tbsp heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a pie dish. Slice the onions in half lengthwise. Place cut side down on a cutting board and slice crosswise into very thin slices. In a large unheated skillet, combine the onions, butter, thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Sweat over moderate heat, covered, until the onions are soft , about 8 minutes. They should not carmelize or turn brown. Taste for seasoning and set aside. Crack the eggs into a medium-size bowl and whisk just to blend. Whisk in the milk and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the onions to the prepared pie dish, smoothing them out with the back of a spoon. Pour the egg mixture over the onions. Season with additional pepper and nutmeg. Place in the center of the oven and bake until the top is a deep golden brown and the custard is firm, about 30 minutes. To test for doneness, insert the tip of a knife in the center of the quiche; it is done when the knife comes out clean. Do not underbake or the quiche will be mushy, not firm. Let sit for 5 minutes to firm up.

*Note: the freshly grated nutmeg is key; if you substitute ground nutmeg, you will not get the desired result.


  1. Excuse my ignorance, but can you get fresh nutmeg at most groceries stores?

  2. Absolutely! In the spice section, often in a jar but sometimes in a plastic bag. They are brown and egg shaped, 'bout the size of the tip of your thumb. Just grate it using the smallest /finest side of a box grater or similar, so that it comes off with the consistency of dust/powder. Makes a world of difference and a little goes a long way!

  3. I had been meaning to try an onion tart for over a week but the pastry always seemed like too much of a hassle for a weeknight. So when I saw this recipe, I made it immediately. It was delicious! But there should probably be a warning on it for single cooks - I ate nearly the whole thing in one sitting. Thanks for sharing it!


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