This quiche says summer to me – the warmth and sun of the Mediterranean – with its colourful mix of artichokes and red chard and aromatic lemon thyme. Not forgetting the crumbly goats’ cheese, which, when cooked slowly, adds an almost almondy flavour to the quiche. Try serving it alongside a red chard salad and pickled shallots – they really bring out the flavour of the summer vegetables in the quiche.
This recipe is taken from the égalité chapter of my new book, Revolutionary French Cooking. Égalité is a lovely word, and it would be great to drift away into all sorts of discussions and explanations – but that’s not for now. The focus of this chapter is to talk about ingredients that were originally perceived as peasant fodder, but are now being rediscovered and enjoying new recognition. To make democratic recipes that elevate humble ingredients to starring roles!
Underpin that with beautifully complementary ingredients. I’ve tried to create recipes in which the relationship between two, or sometimes more, ingredients, when combined with one another, make a perfectly balanced pairing – they are just great for each other. So you see, in that brief description, what we have captured in égalité.
Humble goats’ cheese, summer vegetables and herbs combined in a quiche represent égalité, and most importantly they make a delicious light meal.
Goats’ Cheese and Summer Vegetable Quiche Recipe
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus making the pastry and vinegar and 30 minutes chilling
Cooking time: 1 hour
15g/½oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
250g/9oz Savoury Short Pastry
plain flour, for dusting
200ml/7fl oz/scant 1 cup double cream
100g/3½oz soft goats’ cheese log, such as Golden Cross or Ste Maure, rind removed, crumbled
2 lemon thyme sprigs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
75g/2½oz drained bottled artichokes, thinly sliced
75g/2½oz carrot, peeled and finely diced
50g/1¾oz red chard leaves
25g/1oz watercress leaves
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Lightly grease a 20cm/8in loose-bottomed tart tin. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface until 25cm/10in diameter x 3mm/¹∕8in thick and use to line the base and the sides of the tart tin, pressing it into the edges without overstretching the dough. Trim any excess pastry, prick the base with a fork and chill for 30 minutes to prevent the pastry shrinking during baking.
2. Meanwhile, make the filling. Pour the cream into a saucepan, add two-thirds of the goats’ cheese and the lemon thyme and warm over a low heat for 3–5 minutes, whisking until smooth and silky. Remove from the heat and leave to cool while you make the rest of the filling.
3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the butter, oil and onion and fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned. Add the artichokes and carrot, mix well and cook for 5 minutes until softened, then add the red chard and watercress and cook for a further 2 minutes until wilted. Tip out onto kitchen paper and press dry.
4. Add the eggs and nutmeg to the cooled cream mixture, season with salt and pepper, then whisk to combine.
5. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas 3. Line the pastry case with baking paper and cover with baking beans. Put the tart tin on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, then remove the paper and baking beans and turn the oven up to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Brush the base of the pastry case with the reduced balsamic vinegar. Spoon the vegetable mixture over the base of the pastry case and sprinkle with the remaining goats’ cheese. Pour in the egg mixture and bake for 35 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Serve warm or at room temperature.