Plain fromage frais (fat free if it makes you feel better)
Half a courgette
Broccoli (4 x tenderstem if it’s going cheap)
One red pepper
One yellow pepper
1 or 2 red onions
Ready-roll shortcrust pastry (or you can make your own)
Fresh ground black pepper
A knob of butter
Sunflower oil for frying
Pie dishes x2
Give them a wash if they’ve not seen the light of day for a decade or three. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 or equivalent.
Finely slice the onions, peppers, courgette, broccoli and halve some of the cherry tomatoes. Taste the rainbow. Spray a little sunflower cooking oil into the pan and fry on a low heat, stirring occasionally. Sneak the knob of butter in when no one’s looking.
*Have you heard that the extra virgin olive oil chefs adore is not actually good for cooking? It burns at a lower temperature than other oils. It’s for salads and cold dishes! (non)Stick with a less prudish oil.*
Meanwhile, put the pastry in the pie dishes on top of baking paper if you want your quiche to lift out easily. You can also get pie dishes with removable bases, or rub butter all over the dishes with some kitchen roll. Crisp the pastry in the oven for ten minutes or so to give it a head start while the vegetables cook. Use baking beans if you are posh enough to own some.
Your veg is now perfection. (Old Spice voice) Turn off the heat.
Next we will make the quiche filling. Enlist someone to grate a third of a block of cheese whilst you crack 6 eggs into a mixing bowl. If you successfully dropped no shell fragments into the bowl like my fine self, you can add a large dollop of cream cheese and 2 large dollops of fromage frais. Alternatively you can use cream, thick plain yoghurt, Philadelphia or whatever the fridge blesses you with.
Beat it all together gently and then add most of your grated cheese, saving enough to top the quiches with. Add salt, pepper and lots of mixed herbs. I used Italian seasoning and Herbs de Provence. If you have any suitable fresh herbs, shred a few leaves and put them in for super fragrance.
At this point you should rescue your pastry dishes from the oven if you haven’t already and decide whether there’s enough room in them for the spinach leaves, if not cook them quickly with the other veg, as they shrink down very rapidly. If you have remaining cherry tomatoes, halve them and add them in raw for a more tangy flavour.
And now! Gingerly tip the filling into the bases!
And for your next trick! Carefully pour the egg mixture over the top, switching between dishes so you don’t run out too soon.
Cover any gaps with the rest of the grated cheese.
Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes at gas mark six. Test it occasionally with a knife if you’re not sure the middle is cooked through, but bear in mind you don’t want it too dry.
Lift it out by the baking paper. Slice its beautiful self into portions – it is a sad but necessary evil.
Serve, garnish and devour it immediately!
It had a short, yet happy life. My god it was delicious. Home-cooked quiche is an entirely different beast to bland, stodgy supermarket quiche!
My parents got at the big one before I could even take a photo:
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why we cook two at a time!