... it's been nearly all summer and i've only made the one quiche... something must have gone seriously wrong somewhere, particularly because in my humble opinion the quiche is the cornerstone of the a good summer picnic... it's both light yet entirely satisfying at the same time... and even though the french would love to claim it as their own I feel there's something so very british about the quiche... I liken it to the british version of the rustic italian pizza or the spanish fritatta but with a pastry base... and come on now, you can pretty much make anything british by adding pastry to it...
... i've never cooked with samphire before even though I love the stuff and it's grown locally here in the salt-marshes of Lincolnshire... it's one of those ingredients that seems to have passed me by for some daft reason and now that's it's so wonderfully trendy i've had my eyes opened to how amazing it is... it works well as both a vegetable and serves wonderfully with fish and chicken but also as a herb used like I have here alongside mushrooms and garlic and a little rosemary... it has a beautifully salty taste that compliments parmesan too, so i've included some in the pastry. There's a brilliant article all about this brilliant plant on the Lincolnshire Life Magazine website but you can thank our friend George who gave me some of his home grown Samphire... George is the husband of the brilliant blogger Elaine from Pear Tree Log and has the most covetable kitchen garden... thankfully he's very generous...
mushroom, garlic and samphire quiche
this month there's a new bloggers challenge from the lovely Elizabeth's Kitchen called Shop Local which, as the name suggests, encourages us to shop locally for lovely fresh ingredients and then shout about it... a brilliant challenge idea... this quiche also goes out to the wonderful Alphabakes challenge hosted by Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline from Caroline Makes who have reached some of the trickiest letters of the alphabet, with this month being the letter Q...
... I have to say,without blowing my own trumpet, this is the best quiche i've ever made... it could be to do with the glorious combination of samphire and mushrooms or could have something to do with the ridiculous amount of butter I used to saute the mushrooms in... we'll never know...
for the parmesan pastry
250g plain flour
50g finely grated vegetarian parmesan
water to mix
for the filling
one large box of closed cup mushrooms (380g) - finely sliced
3 large garlic cloves - finely crushed
1 bunch of samphire
butter and olive oil
fresh rosemary - finely chopped
salt and pepper
3 eggs - beaten
make the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour in a large bowl until you have something resembling breadcrumbs, stir in the grated parmesan then add a tablespoon or two of cold water and bring together into a dough with your hands, you may need to add a little more water to create the dough but you will feel how 'short' the pastry is. Wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
in a large pan gently melt a generous amount of butter with a little olive oil and add the mushrooms, stir them around and them leave them until they begin to squeak, then add the garlic and plenty of pepper and a little salt, then turn up the heat a little and saute them till they begin to brown a little, then add the samphire and continue to saute for another five minutes, then remove from the heat.
now your pastry should be ready, roll it out and line your greased quiche pan. place some baking beans on top of the pastry and blind bake for 15 minutes on 150C
once your pastry is turning golden, take it out of the oven and set aside whilst you beat the eggs into the cream... pour the mushroom and samphire mix into the pastry case followed by the cream and bake on 160C for about 15-20 minutes until golden and risen, set aside on a wire rack to cool. The quiche should easily slide out of the tin. (famous last words...)