Hey there, first Monday of summer on the imaginary calendar. It’s official. It’s you time! For two short months, we’re going to pretend that you’ll last forever and then maybe, you will?
I won’t lie. It is my favourite season. I can take intense humidity and warmth over bitter cold and rain because cooling off is much easier for me. Summer days in Goa mean lots and lots of fresh fruit, ice-cream and dips in the pools of random hotels (and more recently, our own). Summer days in Washington mean weather that makes everybody talk about the weather, strawberries of the sweetest kind, and tomatoes that taste sweet and then savoury. I really don’t know what to do with myself.
The little potted plant garden that is sitting on our balcony also looks overjoyed every time the afternoon sun makes its way to them. To me, they are alive and I still can’t believe they were just seeds in a little envelope a few months ago (Whoa now ovaries!). A lot of people’s apartments in this area have tomato plants that are twice as big as mine. The urge was never stronger to go knock on some doors and beg for answers. However, I know people here don’t do that so I resist. I will be better next year and I’ll probably get a heat lamp. This is not a competition (thankfully) but I saw how perfect a couple of stunted cucumbers, tiny overcrowded circle carrots (many stolen by our bunny dog), two-and-a-half cherry tomatoes and some salad greens were and I want it all for myself!!!
Yesterday I traded my lunch for a pint of strawberries and another pint of sweet cherry tomatoes at the farmer’s market. The strawberries lasted a total of two hours and most of the tomatoes successfully made it into this quiche.
I don’t know why people complain about Mondays. They always seem to be good to me.
Summer tomato quiche
For the roasted tomatoes
Turning on an oven might not seem ideal during the summer but wouldn’t you do it for the roasted tomatoes in this quiche? They can be made a day earlier so throw them in the oven when the sun goes down and ready them to star in this beautiful thing.
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 whole sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 big cloves of garlic, peel on
- A hearty pinch of sea salt
Preheat the oven to a temperature of 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and make a snug pocket in the centre for the tomatoes. Add the rest of the ingredients to the tomatoes and cover them up. Put the baking sheet with the foil pouch into the oven for an hour and a half. At the 45-minute mark, open up the foil pouch to expose the tomatoes directly to the heat and place them back in the oven. At the 1-hour mark, turn over the tomatoes without squishing them if you can. They will be very soft so some might resist. If they can’t be turned, leave them as is. Put the baking sheet back into the oven and turn down the heat to 375 degrees F. Let them roast for 30 minutes more, until some of the liquid reduces. The tomatoes are done when their skin looks dry but they are still soft on the inside. Leave them aside to cool before using. If making a day earlier, store in a container with the remaining liquid and the garlic + rosemary stalks.
For the cornmeal crust
This crust recipe was made using one 9-inch cake tin. I’ve used a tart tin and a cheesecake tin to make quiche before but both those were huge disasters for me. I figured that if any liquid should escape, at least it will all stay with the quiche instead of leaking onto a baking sheet. If you feel more comfortable using traditional baking equipment, please do.
Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- 145 gms (3/4 cup) cornmeal (I used a medium-grind, like I did for last week’s polenta cake)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped fine
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Add the milk, water and salt to a large saucepan and bring them to a boil on medium heat. Once the liquid starts to bubble, add the cornmeal, a little at a time, stirring constantly as you go. Once the cornmeal absorbs the liquid it will start to get thicker. Lower the heat slightly. In about 10-12 minutes, it should reach a very uniform consistency, where it becomes slightly difficult to stir. At this point, take it off the heat and add the Parmesan and stir it well into the cornmeal. Break the egg and stir quickly into the mixture until well combined. Lastly add the rosemary and pepper. Set the cornmeal aside to cool for a few minutes.
Grease a cake tin with butter or cooking spray. Spoon out the cornmeal mixture and place it into the cake tin, patting it down, all along the bottom and at least an inch and a half-high along the sides. Make sure it’s evenly spread along the cake tin. Poke some holes on the base with a fork. Put the cake tin into the oven for 20 minutes. During this time, you can prepare the quiche filling.
For the filling
- 1 tbsp olive oil or butter
- 1/2 cup chopped leeks (only the white and light green parts)
- 5 large eggs
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh black pepper
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- Soft roasted garlic and dried rosemary leaves (both from the cherry tomato roast. If the garlic is too hard, don’t use it. Some of what I used was still soft and delicious enough to use.)
- 1 pint roasted cherry tomatoes (see above)
Put a skillet with olive oil on medium heat and add the chopped leeks to it. Saute the leeks for 5 minutes or until they have turned soft but still have their colour. Take them off the stove and set aside.
Break the eggs in a medium-sized bowl and beat them with the milk, salt, pepper, thyme, roasted garlic and the dried roasted rosemary leaves. Add the cooked leeks to this mixture.
By this time, if it’s past 20 minutes, you are ready to assemble the quiche.
Pull out the cornmeal crust from the oven and place the roasted cherry tomatoes on the base, in any random pattern. Pour the filling mixture into the crust until its full. You should be able to use up all of the egg mixture but if you notice the crust is getting too full or overflowing, just save the rest of the egg mix for an omelette.
Place the cake tin back into the oven for 20 minutes or until the centre of the quiche is set.
Once out of the oven, let the quiche cool slightly before serving it up.