Arugula and Cremini Quiche with Gluten-Free Almond Meal Crust

Arugula and cremini quiche with-gluten-free almond meal crust

This weekend was full of parties and good cheer. It started with a bang on Friday, when my friends surprised me with a birthday party! I thought I was meeting one friend for dinner, but to my shock and delight, eight smiling faces were waiting for me when I arrived.

My birthday is on Christmas and I haven’t had a proper birthday celebration in, oh, almost a decade, so it meant the world to me. I’m actually looking forward to my real birthday now. And, now that I am no longer filled with Christmas baby bitterness, I might stop being a Scrooge and actually pull out some holiday decorations.

almond meal quiche and wine

My friend Tessa served her version of this quiche at girls’ night a couple of months ago. Two of the four of us are gluten-free, so we often serve simple, vegetarian frittatas that satisfy all four of us. (Add a bottle of wine, maybe a side salad and some chocolate for desert, and we’ve made a gourmet meal with minimal effort.)

That night, Tessa included an almond meal crust, which turned her baked frittata into a quiche. I’ve never been a big fan of all-purpose flour crusts, but this crisp, savory, herbed crust is another story. We all absolutely loved the flavor and texture of the crust and requested the recipe. The best part? You don’t even need a rolling pin to make it. Just smush the crust into form with your fingers.

I’ve been working on a larger scale version that can be baked in a cast iron skillet ever since. My final, favorite version starts with a garlicky thyme and almond meal crust, which is filled with scrambled eggs, goat cheese, mushrooms and arugula. It’s fresh, filling and simple—perfect for a holiday brunch or a simple weeknight dinner.

gluten-free almond meal crust

If you would like to serve the quiche with wine, I’d suggest a light-bodied pinot noir. This post’s sponsor, Robert Mondavi Private Selection, offers a widely available pinot noir that truly is just right. The pinot noir’s notes of sour cherry and oak pair wonderfully with the flavors of goat cheese, arugula and Cremini mushrooms.

Mondavi asked me to share some entertaining tips with you all today. My suggestions, which are all pretty basic but oven overlooked, come from my experience in food service as well as attending parties as a guest. What are your best tips? I’d love to hear them.

Entertaining do’s:

  • Serve glasses of water alongside alcohol, and refill the water glasses whenever they are running low. Hydrated guests are happier guests.
  • Cloth napkins always leave an impression. They don’t even have to match as long as they share a common theme. A matching salt shaker and pepper grinder is a nice touch, too.
  • Gracefully clear plates from the table as they are finished. Guests can’t relax and put their elbows on the table if it’s covered with empty plates.
  • Set up a drink station away from the kitchen that offers all of the necessary drink supplies: alcohol, glasses, ice, garnishes. Let guests serve themselves so they can drink at their own pace.
  • Stemless wine glasses may not be the most proper wine glasses, but they’re less likely to tip over and spill or break.
  • Lights! Music! Don’t neglect ambience. Avoid harsh overhead lighting and play event-appropriate background music. (Thanks to my friend Grace for the reminder!)

Entertaining don’ts:

  • Don’t try to do everything by yourself! Guests want to contribute and be helpful, so tell them what you need them to bring or do. Better to ask for help than to make everyone around you feel helpless and stressed for you.
  • Don’t feel compelled to offer a million different menu items. Serve enough to satisfy your guests and their individual dietary restrictions. Humans have a natural tendency to want to try everything, which leads to overeating and post-holiday party guilt. There’s no need to prepare more food than people actually want or need!
  • Don’t forget about the bathroom. Make sure to provide a clean hand towel and leave an extra roll of toilet paper in sight.

sautéed mushrooms and arugulascrambled eggsgluten-free almond meal crust recipeRobert Mondavi private selection pinot noir with quicheCremini mushroom and arugula quiche in a gluten-free almond meal crust

5.0 from 4 reviews
Arugula and Cremini Quiche with Gluten-Free Almond Meal Crust
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Arugula, Cremini mushrooms and goat cheese quiche in a gluten-free thyme and almond meal crust. A simple, gourmet recipe for breakfast, brunch or dinner!
Ingredients
Gluten-free almond meal crust
  • 2 cups almond meal or almond flour (I had better results with almond meal)
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon water
Arugula, Cremini mushroom and goat cheese filling
  • 3 cups baby arugula, roughly chopped
  • 1½ cups cleaned and sliced Cremini mushrooms
  • Drizzle olive oil
  • 6 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 5 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet or large tart pan with cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, stir together the almond meal, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil and water and stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
  2. Press the dough into your prepared skillet/pan until it is evenly dispersed across the bottom and up the sides (if you are using a cast iron skillet, make sure the dough goes at least 1¼ inch up the sides). Bake until the crust is lightly golden and firm to the touch, about 18 to 20 minutes.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm enough olive oil to lightly coat the pan. Cook the mushrooms with a dash of salt, stirring often, until tender. Toss in the arugula and let it wilt, while stirring, about 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a plate to cool.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and red pepper. Stir in the goat cheese and the slightly cooled mushroom and arugula mixture.
  5. Once the crust is done baking, pour in the egg mixture and bake for 30 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch and cooked through. Let the quiche cool for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing with a sharp knife. Serve immediately.
Notes
  • Crust adapted from Roost's Rainbow Chard Tartlets. Thyme/goat cheese/mushroom/arugula flavor combination inspired by What to Drink with What You Eat.
  • Yields 6 large slices.

Robert Mondavi Private Selection

A message from Robert Mondavi: Robert Mondavi Private Selection offers something authentic, true to Mr. Mondavi’s legacy of making great quality, expressive wines from California’s Central Coast. Connect with us on Facebook for more: www.facebook.com/robertmondaviprivateselection

Please enjoy our wines responsibly.

Disclaimer: Compensation for this post was provided by Robert Mondavi Private Selection via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Robert Mondavi Private Selection.

Comments

  1. G Fred says

    Yay for your birthday celebration!! That is so awesome! A great idea of them to do it a couple weeks early so, as you said, now you can properly enjoy the holidays–and rest assured that you are adored! duh! ;)
    This crust sound awesome! and great tips! I especially love the “don’ts” section. A mini bar IS key to help prevent people from congregating in the kitchen the whole time.
    I would say my best party tip–and you can remember this from our gatherings–is lighting. You want to create the most comfortable and inviting ambiance, and I think proper lighting–not to bright, not too dim, & good color temperature–is the biggest factor in that!
    Happy Holidays, friend!

    • says

      G, I’m so sorry I didn’t thank you for this comment earlier. I can’t believe I forgot to add lighting to my list! You taught me well. “Rest assured that you are adored!” warm fuzzies. :)

  2. says

    Mmm this sounds so good! I love frittatas and quiches no matter what time of day, and I’ve never actually tried making anything with almond meal, despite being GF as well. I’m going to pin this one for when I decide to try it out for the first time! Question – is it more coarse than almond flour, or could you use them interchangeably?

  3. says

    This is my idea of the perfect quiche. A crust that requires no rolling? Yes please! And I totally agree with you… I think all-purpose flour crusts tend to be a bit boring. Texturally and flavor-wise. This sounds fabulous.

  4. says

    What a thoughtful thing to do for someone with a Christmas birthday – what great friends! Sounds like so much fun, Kate. And this quiche is a lovely idea – what a nice thing to have in the arsenal for a variety of foodie preferences – love this.

  5. meg says

    This looks perfect – simple, elegant and delicious! I can’t wait to make if for my celiac friend on our monthly dinners. How big is the cast iron skillet you used?

  6. says

    Great post Kate. Love, love the entertaining tips… good to have a common sense refresher for the festive season! Love the look of this press-in pie crust. Yum, almond meal and herbs? My gf friends are going to swoon at this!! Thanks for the fantastic recipe xx

  7. says

    Gracious! Some of your prettiest work yet, K :)

    Happy early birthday to you! My brother’s is the week before Christmas and I always take care to make sure his birthday gift does not have Christmas wrapping paper and that we have a party time/dinner set aside just for him…. it would be sad to feel lost in the other festivities :( So glad your friends spoiled you, as they should!

    This looks absolutely delicious. My mother recently made a cream-heavy mushroom quiche with a buttery pie crust…. it was so, so good, but this looks lighter and delightful! And we love our Pinot out here in Oregon :) Cheers!

  8. Purnima says

    What gorgeous photos! Love the tips for entertaining. Just a heads up that Robert Mondavi wines have gelatin so they are not vegetarian friendly (according to barnivore.com).

    • says

      Thanks for letting us know, Purnima. I didn’t think to check for those details when I was considering this post. I’m a somewhat lax vegetarian myself, so it’s not a deal breaker for me, but it is good to know!

  9. says

    I am a Christmas baby too! and I can relate- a real birthday celebration is worth its weight in gold :-) When I was a kid I celebrated half-birthdays so I could have a party, but that’s not quite as acceptable now that I am nearing 30 :-)

    I love this crust- I am a huge fan of press-in crust, I will have to try this!

    • says

      Happy early birthday, fellow Christmas baby! I’m glad you can relate. Let’s throw pizza pool parties for our half birthdays next year! My friends gave me funny looks when I suggested the idea this year, but I don’t care!

  10. says

    Kathryne, a Christmas birthday? That’s tough! I’m glad you friends feted you early. (My mom was born on New Years and she’s still bitter about having everyone hungover and tired on her birthday. No fun at all.)
    So cool that you have an almond meal crust for your beautiful quiche. Almond meal is one of my favorite ingredients in GF baking. It’s so rich and delish!
    Wishing you nice holidays and a very happy birthday!
    xoxo
    E

  11. says

    This looks like a damn good quiche! I love that it’s gluten-free as I have many friends living a gluten-free life. And a glass of pinot noir for me, please.

  12. says

    I love how tender an almond meal crust is with eggs. The texture is so much more pleasant in my opinion. Looks gorgeous and delicious. Hope all is well with you, miss!

  13. says

    I will be honest, usually when I read party tips I have to work hard at not rolling my eyes, they are all so obvious – but I really like your tips! As obvious as serving water might be, it usually is not top of the list. And the idea of setting up a seperate ‘drinks station’ so your guestst can take care of themselves without feeling they are getting in the way – fab!

  14. says

    This recipe was truly amazing. I will admit that I adjusted the ratio of eggs to milk so that it would be less frittata-like and more quiche-like, but I left the crust recipe you provided as is and it was fantastic. I was so nervous about the almond crust, but it came out delicious. This will become a regular in my dinner repertoire.

    • says

      Thanks, Amanda! Glad you enjoyed the quiche. I wasn’t aware that quiche and frittata have different textures, but I’m glad you liked your version!

      • says

        Perhaps there isn’t much of a difference?? All of the quiches I usually make use 2 eggs to every cup of milk (although I’m sure that can vary). So I thought with less egg and more milk it would have a more delicate (for lack of a better word) consistency. Regardless, your recipe was an inspiration to me…I may never go back to regular old quiche crusts again. Thank you!

          • Zach says

            While I have to admit that Kate’s recipe is adventurous, according to the kitchn.com Amanda is right…

            “The fool-proof part comes courtesy of the French. They are masters of the quiche and long-ago settled on the perfect formula of one part egg to two parts milk. A standard large egg weighs two ounces and a cup of milk is eight ounces, so a good rule of thumb is two eggs per cup of milk.”

  15. Mary says

    This may be a very silly question, but I’m all for silliness and so will ask it anyway. :o) I’ve never made almond meal before – for two cups of it, do I process two cups of almonds, or should I use more? Thank you!

    • says

      Mary, I’m very sorry I didn’t address your question sooner. I’m finally getting caught up on comments. I haven’t ever made almond meal myself, but I looked it up, and one source says that one cup of almonds will yield one cup of almond meal. They recommend using blanched almonds, but I think my store-bought almond meal is made with almonds that still have the skin on, so I think those will work, too. Sorry again for the delay.

  16. Courtney says

    I would like to make this for a party but need to make it the night before. Will it taste ok the next day if I re heat or serve it cold? Thanks!

    • says

      Courtney, it should be great the next day! I know I enjoyed the leftovers for a few days. Sometimes greens get a little soggy after they’ve been reheated. I want to say that the greens in the frittata reheated well, although I can’t say so with absolute certainty.

  17. Heather says

    I am eating this as a type and it is delicious! I halved the recipe, added turkey bacon and pressed the bottom mixture into cupcake liners. They stuck a little, so next time I’ll just use a greased cupcake pan. The almond flour base is so flavourful! I will definitely be making this again – thanks!

  18. says

    Hi Kate! I loved this recipe and want to recreate at my parents’ house, but they don’t have a cast-iron skillet. Do you think it would turn out well in a traditional pie pan?
    Thanks!

    • says

      Hey Grace! Good question. I haven’t tried it, but I think it would turn out well in a pie pan. I’m just guessing here, but I bet the pie pan will be slightly smaller than the skillet, so you might end up with a deeper quiche… if that’s the case, just make sure the crust goes high up the sides of the pan to accommodate, and you might have to bake it a little longer overall. Good luck!

  19. Jenn says

    I am making this for Easter brunch. What goat cheese do you buy? Is it feta? I am having a difficult time finding crumbled goat cheese. The goat cheese I see at the store is creamy. Thank you for the great recipe

    • says

      Hey Jenn! I bought a small log of regular goat cheese. I used a fork to break it into crumbles while it was cold. Herbed goat cheese or feta are also options.

  20. Anika says

    hiii!! i wanna try this for a dinner party next week but was wondering two things:
    1. can i make the crust the day before ?
    2. would coconut milk work?

    (sorry about being that person who wants to sub, i hate myself, but lactose intolerant and am dying to make this).: )
    thanks!!!!

    • says

      Hi Anika! I haven’t tried making the crust beforehand. I’m not sure how to store the crust overnight—whether you should leave it in the pan or transfer it to a flat surface to be wrapped. It’s really super easy to put together so you might be better off making it the day of. I think coconut milk would work great, as long as you don’t mind a light coconut flavor in the quiche!

  21. Vanessa says

    Made it for dinner and it’s delicious! The crust was easy to throw together, stayed together amazingly well and was super flavorful and delicious. I tweaked the veggies in the filling by adding sautéed onion and cherry tomatoes but otherwise followed everything exactly (unusual for me!). It needed an extra 10 minutes in my oven to be fully cooked. It was a little ‘eggier’ than I’m used to in a quiche, but I didn’t mind at all. Definitely will be saving this one to make again :)

    • says

      Vanessa, thank you for commenting! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe. Onion and cherry tomatoes sound like delicious additions to me.

  22. Paige says

    I made this for a summer brunch full of teacher friends and it was a hit! Two women asked for the recipe, and one immediately hit up my Pintrest to find it and repin. All I can say is YUM! Amazing.

  23. Becca says

    I made it for my meat loving roommate (who happens to be my sister as well) and she brought it to work for lunch and said everyone had ‘lunch envy’. Not only beautiful but delicious as well.

  24. Kathleen says

    Auditioned this last night for our Christmas brunch (I’m hosting for the first time!) and was so delighted with it. The garlic in the crust was a lovely touch. Do you think it would work with walnut or pecan meal, for a quiche with squash? I think the flavours would work, but I’m wondering if the different nuts might burn faster or something.

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