Martha Graham Dance Company’s Anne Souder Shares Her Substitution-Friendly Potato-Crust Quiche and Only Green Salad Recipes

May 31, 2023

In 2020, Anne Souder made a New Year’s resolution to create less food waste—and it stuck. The Martha Graham Dance Company soloist continues to work toward this goal by finding creative ways to repurpose leftover ingredients. “I absolutely love the challenge of a 30-step recipe, but then there’s always new ingredients that just sit in your cupboard,” says Souder. “Once I’ve learned how to cook with them in a more complex dish, I figure out how to use them up in something much simpler.” This philosophy led Souder to develop the recipes for both her potato-crust quiche and only green salad, which she often serves together. And while she enjoys the ingredients featured here, she encourages substitutions based on what each cook has in their kitchen. “I’ve put sausage, zucchini, or broccoli in this quiche,” she says. “Anything that’s nutritious and makes you less tired of your leftovers.”

No matter how basic the dish she’s making, Souder pays attention to its appearance. “I always joke that I serve two Marthas: Martha Graham and Martha Stewart,” she says, referencing the second Martha’s emphasis on culinary presentation. “Dancers are so visual, and I believe we eat with our eyes,” says Souder. “Even the easiest recipe can be cared for and made beautiful in a way that you enjoy sitting down with it.”

a woman wearing a pink apron and cracking eggs in a kitchen
Souder mixes up the ingredients for her quiche filling based on what she has on hand. Courtesy Souder.

Lunch Break

Souder brings her dual approaches of sustainability and aesthetics to packing her lunch each day. She’s made an effort to switch out her plastic Tupperware for glass, snap-top alternatives. “The test was if I could throw it in my dance bag without it leaking,” she says. “They’re heavy, but worth it if you don’t want soup on your tights.” For snacks—usually a combo of nuts, for a protein boost, and salty carbs, like pretzels—Souder likes reusable silicone Stasher bags.

Potato-Crust Quiche

a quiche with mushrooms and spinach
Courtesy Souder.


  • olive oil (for pie dish, potatoes, and frying pan)
  • 2 large golden or russet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced slightly thicker than a quarter
  • 1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 oz fresh spinach (about half a bag)
  • 10 oz cremini mushrooms, halved and sliced
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • optional: 1/4 cup sour cream (“A French person who was in the company said she always used sour cream, so I’ve done that since,” says Souder. “It adds this tangy, creamier texture.”)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (Souder recommends Gruyère)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Generously grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie dish with olive oil. Assemble the crust by layering the potato slices on the bottom and sides of the dish, overlapping the potatoes to create as few gaps as possible. Lightly drizzle the layered potatoes with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes take on a golden color and the edges begin to curl slightly. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes while leaving the oven on.
  2. While the crust is baking, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan, and sauté the onions and mushrooms over medium-high heat until soft and slightly browned. Season with salt and pepper, then add spinach and cook until wilted.
  3. To make the custard, whisk the eggs, half-and-half, sour cream (if using), salt, and pepper until combined.
  4. Assemble the quiche by sprinkling the shredded cheese on the bottom of the baked crust, then evenly spreading the vegetable mixture over the cheese. Pour in the custard to fill the pie plate.
  5. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the quiche begins to puff and gently crack around the edge but the center still jiggles gently. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 25 minutes. Serve warm, room-temperature, or chilled.

Only Green Salad

a salad with cucumbers, avocado, and apple on top
Courtesy Souder.


  • 2 heads butter lettuce, chopped (For extra-crisp lettuce, shock the greens in an ice bath for 5 minutes and then dry)
  • 1 cucumber, halved and sliced
  • 1 avocado, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 small green apple, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds, preferably toasted
  • optional: feta or Parmesan cheese to taste

For the Dressing

  • 1 shallot, minced (To tone down its intensity, Souder recommends rinsing the chopped shallot under cold water)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tsps Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, washed and stripped (can substitute dried thyme)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • optional: splash of rice wine vinegar


  1. To make the dressing, place the shallot, lemon juice, water, mustard, maple syrup, thyme, garlic, and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. While keeping your whisk moving, slowly add the olive oil to emulsify. If you prefer more acid, add a splash of vinegar.
  2. Layer the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl starting with the greens and followed by the toppings, a drizzle of dressing, and cheese (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste.