I was anticipating a lunch meeting yesterday, where I wanted to make a good first impression but not cook anything too fussy. I was going over recipe ideas in my head, and I thought of the perfect early spring lunch where the flavors were delicate and light, but still simple and hearty.
Lately, while working on macrame plant hangers, I have been listening to an audiobook biography of Juila Childs. The narration is poor, the woman’s French accent pretty terrible! But I am still enamored by the prose, by the way she describes loving food, and loving good, honest ingredients.
At the store I picked up a bunch of purple carrots, which I tossed in olive oil and truffle salt and roasted in the oven at 400 for about 45 minutes, or until tender and slightly crisp.
Zucchini Goat Cheese Quiche
I love making pie crust. When I moved in with Adam, he had an old Kitchen Aid mixer that I totally am grateful for. It makes baking anything so easy!
This crust made 2 full pie crusts. One is still in the freezer, I think it will become strawberry rhubard pie this weekend…
2 cups pastry flour 1 and a half sticks cold butter, chopped into little chunks ice cold water, about 2 TBS. maybe a little more, if the dough is too dry a sprinkle of salt. and also a tsp of baking powder for some lift
It is important to mix only just enough. Honestly there are so many piecrust recipes out there! If you need more guidance look to Mark Bittman’s book “How To Cook Everything”. I use this book the most, out of all the cookbooks on my shelf, and it doesn’t even have a single photo in it!
Then you chill the ball of dough. Hopefully overnight, or, if not that long, for at least 4 hours I think. The colder the dough the better.
For the filling,
2 small zucchini 3/4 cup Nancy's yogurt small package of goat cheese half a sweet onion 10 large eggs Pinch of salt and pepper
I used a vegetable peeler, and peeled the zucchini into fine strips. You could use a mandoline also. Chop the onion finely and saute with olive oil. Remove the onion and set aside.
Saute the zucchini with salt to help the juices escape a bit, until golden. I prefer to do this in a large heavy cast iron pan.
I prebaked the pie crust, but almost never have total success with this, the sides always fall in a bit even with foil and a full pan of beans. It matters less if the crust falls as long as you put it in a really lovely pie pan. But prebaking the crust is helpful so to not burn the eggs. This is so important for the flavors. Eggs should always be cooked slowly and at a lower heat to maintain delicacy.
At this point the oven should be at 350.
Whip the yogurt and eggs together, add salt and pepper, and pour this mixture into the prebaked crust.
Place spoonfuls of cooked onion throughout, and then arrange the zucchini slivers in a fanciful way, drop fingerfuls of goat cheese so that they are spaced evenly through the egg mixture, and voila! You put the quiche in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the center is set.
Let cool for about 10 minutes and eat it with a light fresh salad, on a sunny afternoon.
The meeting was a total success, I can’t wait to share more soon…