Friday, October 7, 2011

Brunch in the Garden

A couple of weeks ago we had some friends over for Sunday brunch. It was a lovely, not too warm day, and since one of them is highly allergic to cats (something he discovered while having a nice snuggle with Sophie - apparently he'd managed to make it to his early 30s without much cat contact, but she was furry enough to make up for all those lost years), we ate out on the patio.

Our friends brought a cantaloupe and some nectarines, both yellow and white, and I mixed up a little chopped salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, kalamata olives, and fresh basil. The muffins are the cherry cornmeal muffins from Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Café, but I forgot to put in the butter (I discovered it sitting melted in the microwave after they were already in the oven!), but they didn't turn out too badly, actually, just a tiny bit chewy, though still tasty.  They were even better with a little butter and homemade prickly pear jelly. The recipe for the muffins (butter included) is at
    The main dish, of course, was that thing that looks like a quiche, made from a recipe I've had since the '70s, back in the days when real men didn't eat quiche, so perhaps that's why it was called Switzerland Cheese and Onion Pie (apparently whoever came up with it thought the "real men" wouldn't know what it was). I used to make it a lot, but it had been many years, and I'd forgotten how good and easy it is. So here's the recipe:

Switzerland Cheese and Onion Pie
1 9" unbaked piecrust (deep-dish if frozen)
1 large onion, chopped
2 T. melted butter
2 c. cheese, shredded (I used cheddar this time,
     but Swiss, pepper jack, most anything is fine)
1 T. flour
3 eggs
1 c. half and half (or part milk)
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sauté onion in melted butter till tender. In a bowl, toss the cheese with the flour, then mix in onions, eggs, half and half, and salt. Pour into pie crust. Bake 10 minutes, reduce heat to 325 degrees, and bake 30 to 35 minutes longer, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it cool 10 minutes or so before cutting and serving.

There's nothing like a lovely autumn day, is there?

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