Herby vegetable quiche

The last time I attempted a quiche the pastry case split and half the mixture ran out the bottom… This time was significantly more successful.

This is a perfect summer dinner or lunchtime dish and it’s definitely enough to serve five people. It manages to be both light and filling – the perfect combination. It’s also packed full of veg and flavoured with herbs, so it’s both healthy (ish) and tasty!

I made the pastry myself using a basic shortcrust pastry recipe, but you can use bought stuff if you prefer. I’ll just give the recipe for the quiche filling here, though.

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

  • 1 small courgette
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 1/2 yellow pepper
  • handful of small tomatoes (i.e. cherry or baby plum), sliced in half
  • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 100ml milk
  • 250ml double cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp Herbes de Provence (a dried herb mix including rosemary, oregano, marjoram and thyme)
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • handful of fresh chives, chopped into small pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 50g of basic cheese (cheddar or something similar), sliced or grated

Method

If the courgette you’re using is particularly big, I suggest removing the inner bit (where the translucent seeds are) to reduce the water content. After that slice it up in whatever shape you like, along with the peppers. First, throw the peppers into a frying pan with a little olive or rapeseed oil. Leave to fry on a medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until the slices are starting to go a little bit charred and the pan is sizzling, and then add the courgette. Toss every now and then to stop anything burning on the bottom. Remove from the heat after about 5 minutes.

While the veg is frying, preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / gas mark 4. Roll out the pastry until its nice and thin (but not so thin that it falls apart when you pick it up!) and approximately 5cm wider than a 23cm tart dish. Carefully place the pastry into the tart dish. If using a fluted dish, press the pastry into the edges using a ball of spare pastry.

Cover the pastry with a sheet of baking paper and use baking beans, nuts, seeds or rice to weigh it down. This is important as it prevents bubbles forming, that in turn creates holes in the pastry. Place in the oven on a large baking sheet (to catch any extra pieces of pastry that may fall off) and blind bake for 15 minutes.

For the quiche filling, whisk the milk, cream and 3 of the eggs in a bowl. Save one of the eggs in a small bowl for an egg wash for the pastry after it has blind baked. Add the dried herbs, chives and salt and pepper and continue to whisk.

Once the pastry has turned a slight golden colour and it looks crisp, remove it from the oven. Using a pastry brush, cover in egg white from the final egg. This protects the pastry from Soggy Bottom Syndrome when the filling is added.

Add the final egg to the cream mixture and whisk again.

Put the spinach into the pastry case first, followed by half the courgette and pepper and some of the tomato slices. Pour in the cream and egg mixture. Add the rest of the vegetables and the slices of cheese.

Bake in the oven on a baking sheet for about 30 minutes, or until the filling no longer wobbles when shaken slightly.

 

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