Black Sesame Seed-Crusted Vegetarian Quiche
To make a vegetarian quiche I usually open the fridge and see what’s in there to combine with spices, herbs, chilli or whatever else takes my fancy at the time. The black sesame seeds in this crust look terrific — you should find them easily enough at your local Asian supermarket. Remember to keep the pastry thin and bake it blind before filling — there’s nothing worse than a thick, soggy pastry base.
Makes 1x20cm round quiche
- 1 batch black sesame seed short pastry, chilled
- 100g pumpkin, deseeded, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
- olive oil
- 100g leeks, washed and sliced
- 75g fennel, sliced about 5mm thick
- 3 asparagus spears, cut into 2cm lengths
- 50g button mushrooms
- a knob of butter
- pepper and salt
- 50g sour cream
- 3 eggs
- 100ml cream
- 2 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
- freshly grated nutmeg
- 100g feta cheese, cut into 1cm cubes
- 6–8 cherry tomatoes, each sliced into 3
- 70g pine nuts, toasted until amber in colour
- leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry to 3mm thick. Line the base and sides of a 20cm round, fluted loose-bottomed flan tin or a 35cm x 10cm fluted loose bottomed rectangular tart tin. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C, line the pastry with tinfoil and fill with dried beans, raw rice or pastry weights. Bake blind for 20–25 minutes until it is lightly coloured. Remove the tinfoil and pastry weights.
Toss the pumpkin in a little olive oil and roast at 200°C until tender while the pastry is cooking.
One at a time, sauté the leeks, fennel, asparagus and mushrooms in a little butter until just tender and season with salt and pepper.
Whisk the sour cream in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add the eggs and whisk together until combined. Add the cream, mustard and a good grind of nutmeg and whisk until combined — do not over whisk at this stage.
Toss the vegetables together and spread them into the pre-baked pastry case. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the vegetables, taking care not to spill any mixture over the side. Scatter the feta, tomatoes, pine nuts and thyme randomly over the top of the filling and bake for 20–25 minutes in a preheated oven set at 180°C until the mixture is just set and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.
John Hawkesby’s wine recommendation
Forrest Doctors Riesling 2010