Tomato & Pesto Quiche


Where I started reminiscing the last days of summer yesterday, we are now at a point of no denial, it is grey outside and we are lucky to make a cycle ride through the city without getting completely soaked (for some perspective, still makes me laugh as it is so true). In my opinion food makes the best survival strategy and gives me a chance to convince myself that I don’t have to leave my warm home for a while (which equals watching the latest episodes of the Big Bang Theory, and getting hopelessly caught up in the rabbit hole called the internet: just to draw you in, have you seen this, this and this?:)).

A quiche is in many ways the best of both worlds, as it is all of your favorite flavours encased in a rich crust, topped off with cheese. I have found that making a galette or quiche is much easier than I thought it would be. Ever since I tried my hands on this galette last winter, I have been on a complete roll. Even though I slightly adapted the recipe by adding wholemeal flour and reducing the amount of butter a little, it still tastes rich with a bit of crispiness. The addition of creme fraiche and lemon juice is in my view essential in this recipe. A really useful source of information on your pie-crust is this article.

As I always do, I have looked for ways to this savoury tart with as little ingredients and steps as possible. The shortcuts I made is that there is no need to par-bake the dough, the form does not need to be buttered, the dough can be simply pressed into the form with your fingers and the filling requires no cooking. In my book this recipe is a winner 🙂
Making dough is (at least in my book) a messy episode with flour flying around, trying not to touch anything with my (off course doughy) hands while having forgotten to get all the ingredients out. Therefore I often make a large batch of dough and divide this into balls that I neatly wrap in kitchen foil
and place in the freezer. The dough will need some time to defrost and to work with, but it is one of the best things to have around as the
filling can be simply made out of anything tasty in your fridge.

I often make pesto, and the idea of this quiche filling came to me as a way to not waste the pesto left behind in the kitchen machine or blender after making a large batch. By simply throwing in eggs and creme fraiche you can save up all that pesto that is still in there. A short blitz turns all into a super pretty green liquid. I then use it to fill up my quiche (no par-baking needed) and scatter cherry tomatoes all over it.

I am sceptical about tomatoes in a quiche as they tend to water things down, but these small tomatoes are so sweet and dense that they really hold their shape well. In case of larger tomatoes, I can imagine that roasting them in the oven before adding will reduce their juiciness a bit already as well. With the last bits of the late summer harvest, there is still enough time to make this quiche.
As salty feta or goat cheese makes a really good addition here, I have often sprinkled that over the top. In case you don’t want to disturb all the green and red good looks here, it is a good idea to blend the goat cheese in together with the eggs, pesto and creme fraiche. The combination of all fresh, peppery and buttery flavors is really good in this one.

Tomato & Pesto quiche
Dough

  • 100 grams all-purpose flour
  • 100 grams of wholewheat flour (you might as well use only all-purpose flour, depending on your taste and cupboard content)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 110 grams of butter
  • 62 grams of creme fraiche (or Greek yoghurt, or even low fat yoghurt if you’d look for a lighter option)
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 62 grams of cold water
  • few grindings of black pepper

Filling

  • 4 tablespoons of pesto (see the recipe of the rocket pesto I used here but you can use any pesto)
  • 125 milliliters of creme fraiche
  • 3 eggs
  • good few grindings of black pepper
  • 200 grams of soft feta or goat cheese
  • 400 – 500 grams of cherry tomatoes (or, as mentioned, diced larger tomatoes, roasted to reduce their juiciness)

Mix all the dough ingredients and knead it into a supple dough. Refrigerate an hour before use (it will perform better in the oven and it will be easier to handle). In case you make extra portions of dough, simply wrap them in plastic foil (or put them in a sandwich bag) and freeze them.
After taking the dough out of the fridge, simply press the dough into a buttered form with your fingers (I find that greasing the form is not really necessary as the dough is buttery enough). There is no need to pre-bake the crust, and you can simply make the filling and pour this into it.
Make the filling by mixing the pesto (either left behind in your blender or straight from you jar) with the creme fraiche, eggs, and the cheese if you don’t feel like sprinkling it on top. Pour the mixture into the form and drop the cherry tomatoes in it. Cover with the cheese (if you haven’t already put it in there).

Bake in a moderately hot oven on 180 degrees Celsius for 40 – 50 minutes
(when done, the quiche piece are easy to remove from the pan).

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