Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Vegetarian Quiche with Goats Cheese and Tomatoes

Everyone seems to be scared of pastry, but it needn't be so daunting. It's one to wow the cavalry for sure. Quiche fillings are endless, so it's a great thing to try when you have a mish mash of ingredients in the fridge; and we all know using up leftovers will save the pennies. For those meat lovers, add some bacon bits or leftover roast chicken to the mix.

Ingredients (serves 8-10)

for the pastry -

- 225g plain flour
- 100g butter from the fridge, cut into small pieces
- a pinch of salt
- 3-4 tbsp water

for the filling -

- 3 spring onions, chopped
- 8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- one handful of mangetout
- 2 large broccoli florets, chopped
- 6 mushrooms, chopped

- 2 eggs
- 100g soured cream or single cream
- 60g milk
- 100g grated goats cheese, cheddar or parmesan
- pepper

1. Set the oven to 180°c and then start making the pastry. Sift the flour into a bowl, then add the salt and pieces of butter. Using your fingertips (your palms should be clean), rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs and all the starch is mixed in. When adding the water, it is important to do it gradually so that the pastry isn't too wet. Once the pastry forms a ball, knead it for a minute in the bowl. This will also help pick up any excess pastry. Wrap the pastry in cling film and place it in the fridge for around 10-20 minutes. (If you are the organised type, you could prepare the pastry up to a day in advance).

2. While the pastry is resting, you can get on with the filling. Add a little sunflower oil to a frying pan and brown the spring onions. After a few minutes, put in all the other vegetables, apart from the mushrooms (as they need less time to cook). Cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes on a medium/high heat.

3. Leave the vegetables on a low heat and begin to blind bake your pastry. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the pastry. Place it over a suitable shallow dish and gently cut the excess bits off with a pair of scissors. (The excess can be used to make a smaller tart or saved for another occasion). You will need some baking parchment to separate the pastry from your blind baking beans (as shown below). Cook the pastry in the oven for 10 minutes.

4. While the pastry is in the oven, add the mushrooms to the rest of the vegetables and cook for a few minutes.

5. In a bowl, mix the eggs, milk, soured cream, grated cheese of your choice and pepper. Then add the cooked vegetables to the mixture, and pour everything over the pastry once it had been blind baked.

6. Cook the quiche in the oven for 25 minutes until golden and delicious, and serve with a light salad.

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