My dear mother often buys spinach. She has the best intentions for it – healthy meals, delicious spinach and cheese pastries, something different to the usual green addition to our meals – but it very rarely gets used. It often (rather wastefully) sits in the fridge and wilts until someone takes pity on it and disposes of it.
I know, I know, I can hear you all groaning in disapproval – “how wasteful”, “think of the starving children in Africa”, etc but that’s what happens in a house where everyone works. There just isn’t enough time for good intentions!
It just so happens, however, that I’m unemployed! So I swept this bunch of slightly wilted spinach up with glee and started on a healthy(ish) quiche. This quiche not only used up surplus spinach, it also helped with the ridiculous amount of eggs and herbs that we have at the moment.
- 2 cups (300g) plain flour
- 125g butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 tbs fresh basil
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley
- ½ cup water
- 200g cherry tomatoes
- 120g baby spinach, steamed
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup (125ml) cream
- 2/3 cup (30g) grated parmesan
Mix the flour and butter together to make crumbs. Add the egg yolk and herbs and mix to combine. Add the water in 1 tbsp at a time – you may not need the whole amount. As you’re adding the water, press the bread crumbs together until you have a unified pastry, there should be very few crumbs left in the bowl by the time you’re done. Knead the pastry roughly into a disc shape and put it in a bowl and cover with cling wrap. Put the bowl in the fridge for ten minutes.
Preheat your oven to 190°C and drizzle some oil into a small baking tin to roast your cherry tomatoes in. Wash your cherry tomatoes and pop them in to roast for about 15 minutes, until the skins start to split.
Grease a 20cm flan tin and roll your herby pastry out onto a floured surface. The quantities in this recipe allow for quite a thick pastry (because I like thick pastry!), but if you want to roll it out thinly it just means you’ll have excess. It’s easiest to make a flan in a tin that has a removable base because it makes things easier when you’re removing it from the tin. Trim the edge by pressing down on the outer rim of the tin with both hands. Prick the base of the dough several times to avoid bubbles when you bake. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
By now you should probably have taken the cherry tomatoes out of the oven…if you haven’t, quick, check them!
Line the pastry with baking paper and bake blind for 20-25 minutes. Just before the pastry is out of the oven, chop your spinach into small strips and pop it in the microwave with a sprinkling of water so that it steams slightly.
Remove the pastry from the oven and cool for five minutes.
Whisk the eggs and cream together. Grate your parmesan and whisk it in too. Pour the egg mixture into the warm base and throw your spinach in, pushing it down with a spoon if it sticks up too much. Arrange your cherry tomatoes in whatever fashion you desire and pop it back into the oven for a further 30 minutes.
When you take the quiche out of the oven allow it to cool for five minutes before serving because it gets super hot! The tomatoes are a hazard as well, even when most of the quiche is cooling, they’re molten inside! Warnings aside, this quiche is quite delightful.