This is really one in a series of “fridge bottom quiches”, i.e., a quiche made from whatever I have in rather than something bought especially for the purpose. Lately I have been making a lot of courgette quiches, varying the ingredients to include lardons, various cheeses, smoked salmon trimmings, even sliced cooked new potatoes. They were all amazingly tasty and the success is in the fundamental basic way of making a quiche – well my way anyway – and an excellent way of using some of our glut of courgettes.
Here in France I use shop bought pastry more often than not. It comes in a ready rolled circle just right for my 23cm Pyrex flan dish with hardly any waste. You can now get it in two thicknesses in French supermarkets and I usually get the thicker one for quiches these days. Then it’s just a matter of layering up the ingredients before adding the liquid filling. Easy peasy.
The secret to using courgettes is to roast them first. Soggy sliced courgettes are not good in a quiche but if roasted in a little olive oil, salt and pepper they work really well.
The other constant ingredient in my quiches is onion, either a sliced red or white onion, a few spring onions, or a spoonful of caramelised onion chutney. Last but not least would be some kind of meat or fish, usually fried lardons or bacon bits, a few slivers or chunks of smoked salmon or other smoked fish, or some sliced cooked sausage.
I usually blind bake the pastry but on this occasion I didn’t, largely because the oven was already occupied and I wanted to be getting on with making lunch without delay. In any case, I think the soggy bottom issue is overrated. They were the norm when I was a child as my mum would never have wasted the gas on just an empty pastry case and we never felt shortchanged as a result!
The quiche looks a bit puffed up in the first picture and I took that one to show that it does puff up whilst in the oven, then collapses back down as it cools. I then picked up my camera to take a picture of the collapsed, normal looking quiche but was distracted and took one of our eleven month old puppy Hugo instead, forgetting about the quiche. Hey ho!
This is not so much a recipe as a guide to how to build your own quiche using what you have in the fridge. Below is a picture of another roasted courgette quiche where the filling included sliced new potatoes and smoked salmon offcuts, decorated with slices of red pepper. Delicious!
1 pack of ready made, ready rolled shortcrust pastry
2-4 green and yellow courgettes, depending on size of your courgettes and tart dish.
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 pack lardons
Various cheeses, sliced, grated or crumbled. I used goat’s cheese, Cantal and Emmental
3 large eggs
double cream and whole milk
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180° fan. Grease a 23cm tart dish or tin.
Wipe the courgettes and slice them, unpeeled, to about the thickness of a £1 coin. Slice the onions. Drizzle a little olive oil into a baking tray and scatter the vegetables on top. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle again with oil and put into the oven to roast while you do the rest of the preparation.
Use the pastry to line the tart dish or tin, line again with baking paper, fill with baking beans and put in the oven to blind bake for about 15 minutes while the veg are roasting.
Beat the eggs in a jug with a good dollop of cream and enough milk to make up to about 400ml.
Fry the lardons in a small pan until brown. (You could fry the onions at the same time if you haven’t put them in the oven with the courgettes.)
When the veg are golden brown arrange on top of the pastry and add the lardons. Arrange the slices of cheese on top of that and sprinkle any grated cheese evenly over all. Carefully pour the egg mixture over the filling. Do not overfill – better to have some liquid left over than overflowing the pastry case. At this stage you could sprinkle on a few fresh or dried herbs.
Add a sliced tomato for that retro look if you like and put back in the oven. After about 10 minutes turn the heat down to 180°C / 160° fan and bake for about 30 minutes or until the filling is cooked and slightly browned. It will be puffed up but there should still be a slight wobble in the middle. After a few minutes it will collapse down and the filling will be set.
Serve warm or at room temperature.