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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cherry Tomato and Grilled Zucchini Quiche

I know it's not cherry tomato season, but I couldn't resist the buy 3 get one free at the local supermarket on these gorgeous yellow cherries.  I secretly tasted one and they are definitely gorged with sun sweetness and juicy.  What seasons?
The thing is, when you go nuts on things like cherry tomatoes that don't necessarily keep forever, you have to start being creative.
I started imagining them auto caramelizing in their juices, sort of like when you halve and slow roast them.. and how all this would be perfect with some griddles zucchini, bell pepper, and rosemary!
That is how this quiche was born.  When I cut it, the tomatoes fell out of place, but they were so "confites" in their juices that I almost thought I was eating mirabelles.
1 whole zucchini, sliced thickly, olive oiled, and grilled on the griddle
1 corne de boeuf bell pepper, halved seeded, olive oiled, and grilled on the griddle
large handful cherry tomatoes
1 handful fresh favas
small handful of whatever cheese you want to finish (I used camembert that was getting pretty smelly but goat cheese or feta would work very well here)
1 buckwheat thyme shortcrust (I subbed fresh rosemary for dried thyme)
3 eggs well beaten
1 Tbsp extra spicy mustard
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk (I used goat)
small piece of fresh rosemary
pinch nutmeg
some flake salt/pepper
1.  Roll out the shortcrust and push it into a deep round baking dish.  Cover the edges with foil and lightly poke a fork into the base a few times.  Precook for 10 minutes at 400°F 200°C.  This will help the bottom cook and avoid the sides to overcook while the filling sets.
2.  While this is happening, beat the eggs very well.  This step is important for an airy quiche.  Beat in the cream, milk, then add the nutmeg, lots of pepper, a pinch of salt and the rosemary.
3.  When the shortcrust is finished precooking, remove the foil from the sides and start layering in the  good stuff.  Start with a layer of zucchini, then cheese, then bell pepper.  Find little areas to nestle in the whole cherries and top with whatever veggies or cheese you have left.
4.  Pour in the egg mixture.  In French they call that "appareil" which means apparatus or machine, which always makes me giggle... don't know why.
5.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350°F 180°C.  If the center is still a bit jiggly, that's ok.
6.  Remove and let sit for 15-20 minutes.  The center should set and the quiche should still be hot enough to eat.  Since we put cherry tomatoes in there whole, some of them may have exploded and let out their juice.  All that comes together just fine during the setting process.  This is the hardest part because it smells so good, looks so good, and you are soooooo hungry.

Serve as a side or appetizer.  I served mine with a batavia and beet salad and it was extra delicious.

This dish gave me a bonus recipe as well!
Since I had a bit of extra crust after fitting mine into the pie dish, I used it to make a mini tomato tart.
I used small ramekins and tossed some tomatoes with olive oil, fleur de sel, pepper and rosemary, and just folded the sides over as much as I could and cooked that at the same time as my quiche.
Look at that!
Since there was no egg mixture involved, the tomatoes slow cooked and filled the tart and the result was so delectably tart and sweet with the aroma of rosemary that I'll probably be doing this again on a larger scale.
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