Feast Your Eyes

Island Epicure

394

A real feast for your eyes is not merely beautiful, but also superb nourishment that promotes eye health. Want to keep your night vision? Avoid macular degeneration? Counteract the fatigue of working under fluorescent lights?  For the vitamins and other nutrients that support eye health, go for raw or lightly cooked colorful vegetables, also eggs.

Choose carrots, squash, yellow, orange and red bell peppers for Vitamin A. One fairly large carrot when well cooked yields 7,000 I.U. of Vitamin A. Bell peppers give you Vitamins A and C, but don’t overcook them. For flavor and color contrast, enjoy the peppers sautéed briefly in olive oil for a side dish.

Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard give you lutein and zeaxanthin to protect your eyes from sun damage. Besides, they’re delicious side dishes. Wash them, pat them dry, between clean dish towels, and cook them just to the wilting point with garlic and/or shallots, then sprinkle and toss them with a small splash of rice vinegar.

Eggs provide lutein, and cysteine, sulfur, lecithin, and proteins. They protect your eyes against cataracts. They star in this quiche. It goes well for a lunch, supper, or Sunday breakfast.

EASY SPINACH QUICHE
4 to 6 Servings
Preheat oven to 455 degrees

1 store-bought or homemade pie shell
10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach or 1 bunch washed garden-fresh spinach, stems removed, shredded
¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon horseradish, optional’
¼ cup (4 Tablespoons) sour cream
Swiss or Jarlsberg cheese chunk 1 inch x 1-inch x 2 inches
3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan
4 eggs
1 ½ cups whole milk or half-n-half cream
2 or 3 sliced pitted black olives, optional
Bake pie shell 10 minutes. Reserve.

Drain spinach well, pressing into a sieve to remove excess liquid. Place in a bowl. Add and mix: salt, pepper, horseradish if using, and sour cream. Spread mixture in partially baked pie shell. Grate Swiss or Jarlsberg cheese and combine with Parmesan. Strew over the spinach mixture in the pie shell.

Lightly beat the eggs with salt and the milk or half and half.

Place the partially baked pie shell on a baking sheet. Add the egg and milk mixture to the ingredients in the pie shell.  Bake on the center shelf of the preheated oven until the top is puffed up and browned and a knife inserted near the center of the quiche comes out clean.
Remove from the oven. Carefully slide the quiche onto a wire rack for a few minutes to let the custard firm up before serving.  Garnish with the sliced olives if desired.