My friend and I had made a date to have lunch the other day, but for a number of reasons I couldn’t make it into town so she kindly came to my house instead. In return I promised I’d make us a tasty Mediterranean vegetable quiche for lunch and as she’s a vegetarian I figured I’d make use of some of the baby summer vegetables that were ready to be picked from my garden.
This year I’ve tried growing tomatoes (utter failure), courgettes (pretty successful, but very small), cucumbers (I managed to harvest a small one, but it was really nice), and aubergines (a simple ‘nope’ would cover the aubergine fiasco). Although the courgette plant was my favourite because it was the plant which yielded the most produce, my favourite part of the courgette plant was the flowers it produced. The spreading plant exploded with big, blousy blossoms that made me wish I owned a deep fat fryer so I could make crisp cheese-stuffed courgette flowers, but instead I had to settle for adding them to salads. I know you can bake stuffed courgette flowers in the oven, but sadly it doesn’t produce the same effect as that of a brief dunking in a bath of hot oil.
I had three small, sweet courgettes at hand that I’d picked that morning and I thought they’d work well in a vegetable quiche. This Mediterranean vegetable quiche uses the Hairy Bikers’ parmesan and spelt crust that I’ve used before and it works very well with the courgettes and yellow peppers, adding a cheesy nuttiness to the creamy egg filling. The beauty of this recipe is that you can add whatever vegetables take your fancy, but broccoli florets, oyster mushrooms, sliced red peppers or fresh tomatoes are suggestions which would work beautifully.
For the pastry:
180g gluten-free flour (plus extra for dusting) (I use Dove’s Farm G/F flour because it’s made with low FODMAP ingredients whereas many other gluten-free flours are made with high FODMAP options.)
100g cold non-dairy butter
2 tsp chopped fresh lemon thyme
50g Parmesan (finely grated) or non-dairy version
1 egg yolk
1 tsp ice-cold water
For the quiche filling:
3 medium eggs & the egg white left over from making the pastry
30g of sundried tomatoes (finely chopped)
1 tsp of mild American mustard
30g green spring onion tips (chopped)
1 tbsp chives (finely chopped)
40g parmesan, Grana Padano (finely grated) or non-dairy version
3 baby courgettes or 1 small normal one (cut into thin discs) – no more than 240g of prepared courgette in total
200g red bell peppers (diced)
8 pitted green olives (sliced)
100g cheddar cheese (grated) or non-dairy version
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
To make the pastry:
Put all of the pastry ingredients into a large bowl and then rub the butter in until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
Add the egg yolk and cold water and mix until it forms a ball. (If you feel it’s too dry, add a little bit more water until it comes together).
Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and put it into the fridge for at least half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4.
Line a quiche tin with greaseproof paper.
Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface and roll out the pastry until it’s the right size for the quiche tin.
Place the pastry into the tin, leaving the sides to slightly overhang the edges of the quiche tin.
Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork a few times (this releases any air that might get trapped underneath).
If you have them, fill the tin with baking beans, if not don’t worry about it.
Bake in the oven for about 15-20 mins, or until it’s golden brown. (Baking the pie crust first will ensure your quiche won’t have a soggy bottom.)
To make the quiche filling:
Put aside 50g of the grated cheddar and a small quantity of sliced courgettes and red pepper for decorating the quiche.
Mix all of the remaining ingredients together.
Pour the filling into the pastry case and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top before decorating with the slices of courgette and red pepper.
Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the egg mixture no longer wobbles when shaken.
Trim off any excess pastry from the side of the quiche and serve with a nice fresh green salad.