"I think it's nice that there are all different kinds of lunches and breakfasts and dinners and snacks. I think eating is nice." – Albert from Bread and Jam for Frances, by Russell C. Hoban
If you don’t have an oven proof skillet: Saute the veggies, drain, and put them into a lightly greased pan, probably 9×13. Make the custard, pour on top and bake. It’ll come out just fine.
3 leeks, sliced – use a good part of the green too, soaked and drained. This make take 2 rinses. If the leeks are particularly grubby, make sure to lift them up out of the dirty water so you’re not just pouring the grit back on top of them.
Salt and pepper
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp dried thyme
4 small peppers, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bunches of broccoli – separated into florets – approx 3-4 cups.
1 kilo of mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2-1 cup grated pecorino or some other hard, dry, slightly salty cheese (you can do this with other cheeses if you like though)
250 grams labne cheese or some soft white, creamy quark-like cheese – not high in fat. A greek yogurt could work but it will give a discernable tang.
Pinch of salt. A few grinds of pepper.
1/2 cup chopped parsley – optional
Prepare: Saute the leeks. They’ll be wet at first from soaking. Let them slowly dry out in the pan and cook slowly until they begin to soften. Add the seasonings up to the peppers. Cook for about 5-8 minutes, more if you think it needs so, without burning/browning. Then, add the peppers and the garlic and cook for a few more minutes before adding the broccoli. Cook the broccoli for at least 5 minutes or so, until things begin to soften and tenderize. Add the mushrooms and stir them through a few times so that the mushroom juices will begin to combine with the rest of the ingredients. Cover and let the whole thing cook until almost tender – about 5 more minutes. From the time you add the broccoli through the mushrooms is about 10 minutes total. You’ll be cooking this more in the oven, so don’t worry. Let the mixture cool and strain the juices, reserving the juices to the side.
Prepare the custard while the veggies are cooling. Mix together all the ingredients and whisk well until fully combined and smooth. If you need a bit more liquid to smooth it all out, use up to 1/4 cup of the veg cooking juices. You can do that in any case if you want to cut out egg yolks and use more liquid to replace. You could also do this without the labne addition – it will be less creamy but still tasty as the mustard creates a bit of a creamy effect. Feel free to play and report back.
Pour the custard on top, sprinkle with parsley, and bake until lightly browned and set, about 30 minutes. 400 degrees for 20 minutes and then 350 for another 10. If it needs a bit more time, not to worry. Some people like it softer and wetter on top and some like it dryer. Tasty no matter what.