Wednesday, 6 April 2011

wild garlic and mushroom quiche


I'm very lucky to live close to a few small woodland areas where, in the late Spring, wild garlic grows in abundance... wild garlic (or ramsons to give it it's general name) is good stuff... if you haven't tried it I urge you to go and hunt some down... it has that earthy, heady aroma of garlic but none of the pungent nasty bitterness in the taste... part of the allium family, it's like garlics cool, hip, mellow cousin... 'slightly stoned garlic' is what they should call it!

you can treat it just like spinach and it works really well in salads, as a pesto, steamed, in soups, in omelettes or as I've done here, in a quiche... the lovely Kavey makes a kind of pesto puree with hers and then freezes it in ice cubes so that she can use it all year round... and best of all it's free!

wild garlic and mushroom quiche

for the pastry
8oz plain flour (i used 4oz white and 4oz wholemeal)
4oz butter or margarine (i've been using Flora White, which has the texture and cooking quality of lard but none of the nasty fat or animal derivatives)
1 tsp salt
cold water to mix

for the filling
a large handful of freshly picked wild garlic leaves
a bunch of spring onions (about 8) - finely chopped
1 large leek - finely sliced and chopped
a dozen chestnut mushrooms - finely sliced
300ml double cream
150g cream cheese (I had this left over from my cake icing - you could use cottage cheese or sour cream)
4 eggs

- first make the pastry by crumbling the butter into the salted flour and then adding the water to bring the dough together - pop it into the fridge for 30 minutes

- in plenty of butter and olive oil, saute the onions and leeks until soft and then add the mushrooms and again saute until soft and slightly browned, plenty of salt and pepper, turn the heat off, place the washed wild garlic into the pan and place the lid on and let it wilt until soft - just like spinach.

- roll out the pastry, line your quiche tin and blind bake until golden. (about 20 minutes on 180)

- whisk the eggs, add the cream and cream cheese and whisk again

- once the pastry is cooked, tip in the sauted filling mixture, spread it out on the base and pour on the egg and cream mix

- bake in a hot oven (190) for 25 - 30 minutes until golden and risen

eat and of course, enjoy!

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