Recipe: Schabziger Quiche with Ham and Leeks

A little cylinder of very fragrant, light green cheese comes from the canton of Glarus. Known as Schabziger, this Swiss cheese gets its unique color and flavor from Blue Fenugreek. First produced during the 15th century, it has also earned the title of “Switzerland’s oldest protected brand.”

Switzerland’s green cheese – Schabziger from Glarus

The Green Cheese People Love to Hate

People have strong feelings about Schabziger cheese, either loving it or hating it. Personally, I find myself somewhere in the middle. For example, I’ve added grated Schabziger to risotto and really enjoyed the flavor. Another time, I made Glarner Hörnli mit Apfelmus, (a.k.a. Schabziger Hörnli) — after which I nearly vowed to never eat this cheese again. The odor was so overpowering that day, and mixed with the sweet applesauce, the taste did not appeal to me at all. Alternatively, when I make a quiche with leeks and salty ham, these ingredients seem to balance out the strong smell and taste of the Schabziger. It’s a recipe that I’ve made several times and continues to be my favorite way to use this cheese.

This quiche works well for breakfast or brunch/lunch with a salad. Perhaps when you make it, you shouldn’t mention that it contains Schabziger. Just watch and see how your family and friends react when they try it…

Schabziger Quiche with Ham and Leeks

Recipe adapted from La Cuisine d’hiver des paysannes suisses published by the Agence d’information agricole romande (AGIR) in September 2015. 

Ingredients


– 1 tablespoon butter
– 2-3 leeks, halved and finely sliced (about 4 cups)
– about 140 grams ham
– 5 eggs
– 50 to 100 grams Schabziger, finely grated 
– 1/4 cup light cream 
– 280 grams puff pastry
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh parsley, finely chopped to garnish

Directions

  1. Place the puff pastry on a baking sheet approximately 22 x 33 cm (9 x 13 inches) lined with parchment paper. Use a fork to prick some holes in the bottom of the pastry. 
  2. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the ham and fry it in the butter until it becomes lightly browned. Add the leeks to the pan and combine them with ham, cooking them for about 5 minutes until they have softened. Take the ham and leeks off the heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream until the mixture becomes a bit fluffy. Then, whisk in the grated Schabziger cheese.
  4. Spread the ham and leeks in an even layer across the puff pastry. Then, pour the egg mixture over the ham and leeks, also making sure that it spreads evenly over the ham and leeks. Sprinkle the top with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  5. Bake for about 25-30 minutes at 200 degrees C / 400 degrees F, until the egg mixture has set and the puff pastry has lightly browned. 


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