Guest Blog: A Seasonal Vegetarian Quiche from Beth’s Food Odyssey

For The Wine Tipster’s latest guest blog, he welcomes Beth O’Brien of Beth’s Food Odyssey to share a vegetarian option for the festive season. Beth is a final year dentistry student at Sheffield University who started documenting her passion for cooking on her Instagram account over 2 years ago. From intricate bakes to colourful salad-bowls and much more, Beth’s voyage into the culinary world provides inspiration for any adventurous cook. Read on for the latest recipe she’s developed, and The Wine Tipster’s vegan wine pairings. Enjoy!

Seasonal Mushroom and Kale Quiche with Roasted Leeks and Garlicky Crushed Potatoes

Deep into Winter, months from the long, light days where fresh vegetables can be thrown together to create light summer salads, cooking vegetarian meals can be a challenge for some. Meat can be easily paired with root vegetables to make hearty winter dishes, making this an attractive option for an evening meal.

However, having not eaten meat for many years, I have found that warming, wintery, vegetarian dishes can be easily created using the produce available to you at this time. Eating seasonally has the benefits of fresher produce, greater nutritional content, a lesser environmental impact, and often a cheaper price. There is the added bonus of supporting the local economy, something that is more important than ever right now.

Taking this into consideration, this vegetarian dish uses solely seasonal produce. Mushrooms, onions, kale, leeks and potatoes are all grown locally in the month of December. Although I have suggested some accompaniments for the quiche, it would work well with many other dishes. The perfect Christmas Eve or Boxing Day centrepiece for non-meat-eating guests, perhaps…

Serves 4

Ingredients

Mushroom and kale quiche:

1 block shortcrust pastry

1 tablespoon butter

1 onion

2 large garlic cloves

1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)

½ teaspoon chilli flakes

1 pack (300g) mushrooms

Salt

Pepper

Zest of 1 lemon

80-100g kale

160ml double cream

80ml whole milk

4 eggs

50g gruyère

Roasted leeks:

3 leeks

1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)

Salt

Pepper

2 teaspoons butter

A few splashes of white wine

Garlicky crushed potatoes:

800g new/baby potatoes

Salt

Olive oil

3 cloves garlic

Method

Mushroom and kale quiche:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C

2. Roll out the pastry to be just wider than the quiche tin (I used a 25cm diameter tin). Put the pastry into the quiche tin, gently moulding it to the shape of the tin and letting the edges of the pastry fall over the sides. Leave these edges on for blind baking the pastry

3. Blind bake the pastry. Cover the pastry with baking parchment and fill the parchment with ceramic baking beans or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and cook for another 5-8 minutes until the base is golden brown. After removing from the oven, trim the overhangs of pastry

4. Meanwhile, dice the onion, finely chop the garlic and thyme, and slice the mushrooms

5. Add the butter to a frying pan and melt. Add the onion and cook until beginning to soften. Add the garlic, thyme and chilli flakes and cook for about 30 seconds before adding the mushrooms. Cook on a fairly high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the mushrooms have cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated, remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper, and add the lemon zest

6. Heat a pan of water to boiling. Add the kale to the boiling water for 30 seconds to soften before draining

7. In a jug, combine the beaten eggs, milk and cream. Season with salt and pepper

8. Assemble the quiche. Spread the mushroom mixture over the base of the pastry. Add the kale in a layer on top. Pour the cream mixture evenly over the mushrooms and kale. Most of the kale should be covered by the mixture so that it does not burn. Grate the cheese and scatter evenly on top

9. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown, and a knife put into the centre comes out clean.

Roasted leeks:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C

2. Cut the leeks in half lengthways and lay flat in a roasting dish

3. Finely chop the thyme and scatter over the leeks along with a pinch of salt and pepper

4. Distribute the butter in small blobs over the leeks. Then, pour over a few dashes of wine

5. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes until tender and browning around the edges.

Garlicky crushed potatoes:

1. Put a large pan of water on the heat and add a tablespoon of salt. Put the potatoes into the pan whole. Parboil for about 20 minutes, until a knife can easily slide through them

2. Drain the potatoes and place on a chopping board. Flatten them using the palm of your hand

3. Peel the garlic cloves and crush them using the heel of a knife

4. Add multiple glugs of oil into a large frying pan on a fairly high heat. Once hot, place the flattened potatoes into the oil in a single layer. Scatter a generous pinch of salt over the potatoes and add the crushed garlic. Leave the potatoes for 5-10 minutes to brown and crisp on one side

5. Once crisped, turn the potatoes over, adding more oil and salt. Again, leave on this side until golden and crispy

Wine Pairings

Les Dauphins Côtes du Rhône-Villages 2018, Cellier des Dauphins, Rhône, France (£9.99 from Waitrose).

This vegetarian and vegan friendly wine is warm, smooth, spicy and a great medium bodied red. It is not only great for those cold wintry evenings but is also a super pairing with Beth’s fabulous dish. This is a great value red which has the structure to match the flavours and textures of the mushrooms, kale and roasted leeks, whilst the low tannins and smooth style make for a lovely pairing with Beth’s delicious garlicky crushed potatoes. Enjoy!

Morgon La Chanaise 2017, Dominique Piron, Beaujolais, France (£14.99 from Waitrose).

Another top vegetarian and vegan friendly wine for Beth’s dish. Beaujolais remains one of the most overlooked wine regions. Its reds are made from the Gamay grape variety, and Beaujolais and Beaujolais Villages make for super easy drinking. For a suitable pairing with Beth’s seasonal dish, we need to choose from one of ten Beaujolais crus where the best vineyards are. Fleurie is the most well known cru, which is lovely and perfumed, yet the intensity of this Morgon from Dominique Piron has the generous fruit character required and the supple tannins to compliment Beth’s wonderful dish.

Thanks again to Beth for sharing her wonderful seasonal quiche with us, do try out the recipe and wine pairings and share with us on Instagram here and here, and Twitter here. Cheers!

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