Quiche. Keesh? Queash? Keych? Quiche. Pronounced however you want to pronounce it. It’s a French dish, or at least it’s a French word for a savoury flan or tart. This version of the dish isn’t French, it’s the tiniest bit Italian-, Australian-inspired with just a touch of millennial.
Touch of millennial you ask? Why yes, I mean which other generation was responsible for the widespread love of kale? It’s cool to buy kale now, I almost do it out of peer pressure rather than a genuine desire for health and nutrients.
Italian? Well that would be the ricotta. And the Australian touch comes simply from the flavour combination of spinach and ricotta. It’s not an uncommon flavour blend but one that is well-loved down under. Vegetarian sausage rolls, and spinach and ricotta rolls are available in every Ozzie bakery, artisan or not. Oh, how I miss them! The only spinach and ricotta I get nowadays comes in the form of Sainsbury’s tortellini.
But it’s time to change that. This spinach and ricotta quiche is a little salty, has a hint of sweetness and a very a creamy texture. The kale provides a little bit of a crunch every now and then.
200g of plain flour
100g of butter
1tsp of salt
30ml of chilled water
6 large free-range eggs
175g of ricotta
175g of spinach
100g of kale
2 cloves of garlic
1 red onion
8 cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp of mixed herbs
2 tbsps of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Begin by heating the oven to 200°C fan forced.
Sift the plain flour into a large bowl, add the salt. Cut the butter into squares and drop them into the flour. Using your fingertips lightly rub the flour and butter together until they are thoroughly combined and form a soft crumblike mixture.
Add the water a spoonful at a time. Use a butter knife to mix the flour and water together until the mixture starts to form a dough. Take the dough out of the bowl and place on a floured surface, gently knead it into a ball.
Cover in foil and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Once chilled, on a floured surface roll into a circle shape, 1 centimetre thick. Carefully place the pastry into a pie dish and trim the edges. Prick holes in the bottom of the pastry to prevent the it from rising.
Place the pastry in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
While the pastry base is cooking, it is time to prepare the filling. Finely dice the onions and garlic. Wash the spinach and kale and halve the cherry tomatoes.
Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk vigorously with salt, pepper and the mixed herbs.
Place a small frying pan on medium heat. Place the olive oil, spinach, onion and garlic into the pan immediately before it begins to heat up. The aim is to sauté
and sweat the vegetables rather than frying them.
Once the spinach begins to wilt and turn an intense shade of green, remove the vegetable mixture from the heat and place in a bowl. In a saucepan, bring some water to the boils and cook the kale, allowing it to soften but to still maintain a crunch. It should shrink slightly in size and turn deep green as well. When cooked, remove from the heat.
Remove the pastry crust from the oven. Fill the crust base with alternate spoonfuls of ricotta and cooked vegetable filling and with cherry tomatoes, covering the base of the pie crust. Once a layer has been created pour half the egg mixture over the filling. Repeat this step with the rest of the ingredients.
Once the last of the egg has been poured over the filling place in the oven. Cook for thirty minutes, or until the filling is firm.
Serve straight from the oven.