I am determined that it is now Spring. Despite the frosty morning telling me otherwise, and the number of layers I put on before getting out of bed, let alone leaving the house, Spring will come. It will. My logic is that if I pretend for long enough, this evasive season will suddenly remember that it is supposed to arrive sometime around now and might buck up and get its act together. Maybe.
So, to prolong my pretence that Spring has crept its long green slender tendrils of fleeting warmth up to the North, here is a spring-like recipe for today’s meatless Monday. Quiche. So underrated, and yet so delicious. Plus it will last you for a good few days and can be reheated or eaten cold and delicious in the library. So long as you don’t attract the attention of the devoted library attendants who prowl the Humanities Reading Room.
This is again an incredibly easy recipe to do, particularly if you buy ready-made pastry. Top tip: Because no student house has a rolling pin, fish an empty wine bottle out of the recycling, wash well in hot water so the label comes off, and voila. Rolling pin-free no more.
The other beauty of this is that you can fling just about anything into a quiche. Leeks, spinach (with lots of nutmeg) courgette with liberal doses of garlic, anything you happen to have in your cupboard that is vegetably and fairly soft. Experiment. Go wild with your vegetables.
425g puff pastry
1 white onion
1 large head of broccoli
100g blue cheese (Stilton or Aldi equivalent)
200ml creme fraiche (or thick cream)
1. Preheat oven to 200C. Roll out the pastry to approx half an inch thick, and gently transfer to a greased pie dish. Press into corners. You can bake it blind for 15 mins, but again this involves baking beans which most students don’t have. It doesn’t matter too much, it just makes the dough slightly crispier on the bottom.
2. Dice onion thinly and gently fry in butter until clear and soft. Meanwhile, break the broccoli head into small stalks and simmer 3-5 mins in boiling water. Drain well and place with onion in the pastry case.
3. Crumble cheese over the broccoli – you an add more or less according to your love/hate relationship with cheese.
4. Beat eggs, creme fraiche and milk together in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and pour over the broccoli and cheese.
5. Bake in the oven 20-25 mins or until the pastry around the edge looks golden and crispy.
Ta-daa, another scrumptious recipe to keep the cold away and still tell you that Spring is only just around the corner. I promise.