Can I ask you a question? Do you often cook fancy meals when it's just you? No judgment either way. (After all, I consider a bowl of well-buttered popcorn a culinary accomplishment of its own sort.) I'm curious. Often I think "oh, that's too much trouble" about making a portion for just one. But really, more delicious food doesn't necessarily equal more difficult cooking.
Let's set aside the kind of meal that yields a lot of food (like a roasted pork loin or an entire lasagna), because that does require a crowd to make sense. Let's think about everything else. Somehow I tend to assume that cooking for one means simple, uncomplicated food. But that is silly! There's no reason not to get creative, flavor-wise, when making yourself dinner. There are so many little tricks to making a dish taste more nuanced and more sophisticated (squeeze of lime! vinegar for acid! a quick pan sauce! fresh herbs!).
If anything, cooking for one is the perfect time to pull out all the stops. Because you will appreciate it and savor it all the more for knowing the care that you put into it. And because you're awesome and deserve nothing but the best (say that to yourself in the mirror when you wake up every morning!).
I know this is starting to sound like the lyrics to a Beyonce song, but we are worth it! SING IT WITH ME. I imagine that you like feeding other people, and providing nourishment to those you care about. And really, you should treat yourself the same way.
This quiche is a good place to start if you aren't in the habit of cooking elegant solo meals. You can make a full batch of dough for the crust and freeze the extra for future dinners. There's no need for special equipment: Use a small pie or tart pan if you have it, and if you don't, you can hack it! If you have any sort of small baking dish, use that. Or try this nifty trick to divide a rimmed sheet pan into smaller sections.
I like this quiche filling especially as it uses up Greek yogurt, which I always seem to have hanging around in my fridge. Feel free to substitute any cheese or vegetables you have on hand. This recipe is ideal for transforming leftovers and odds and ends into something sophisticated.
Individual Spinach & Parmesan Quiche
For the crust
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons ice water
For the filling
1 cup baby spinach
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon creme fraiche (can sub Greek yogurt for a less rich filling)
salt + pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
To make pie dough: Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter using a fork or pastry cutter until the butter is in pea-sized lumps. Slowly pour in between 3 tablespoons and 1/4 cup ice cold water. Using a fork, stir until the dough starts to come together. Once it does, turn it out onto a floured surface and lightly press it with your hands until it comes together in a ball. Divide the dough into four or six flat disks, depending on the size quiche you're making, cover in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes. If you're only making one quiche, freeze the rest of the disks to use at a later time.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Roll out one disk of dough on a lightly floured surface to a thin circle. Transfer to your baking dish/miniature pie plate/foil-lined baking sheet if you're trying that hack! Trim the edges and crimp them. Place the crust in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
To make the filling: Cook the baby spinach in a little olive oil with salt and pepper until just wilted. Let cool slightly then chop finely. Whisk together the egg, yogurt, creme fraiche, and water. Season with salt and pepper, then add the chopped spinach and Parmesan.
Pour the filling into the prepared pan/plate. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the surface of the filling is just set. The baking time will vary depending on what dish you use and how deep it is.