Are we feeling a little retro, a little faded, a little past our prime? Or are we rocking vintage, too cool to care, right where we want to be? We have been clearing some drawers and, in doing so, visiting the salad days of yore. Once upon a time, a dinner party often meant twenty people, a massive one-pot pasta whipped up past midnight and a whiskey run to the petrol station on Shoreditch High Street (R.I.P. since a long time). Sometimes, when we made an effort, it might have meant twelve bottles of wine and two quiches for thirty-odd people - our very own version of the two fish and five loaves for our friends, all of whom drank like fish and smoked like chimneys. It is a sign of how time has passed that all but one of our friends have stopped smoking (she stopped and restarted, not a quitter, that one) and no one drinks like they used to. For better or worse, the times have changed, and we with them. So has the party-dinner party continuum and, with it, the quiche.
Given the very nice Frittata we made using tofu, I was ready to take the step to further stretch the possible uses for the versatile ingredient. For this dish, however, Mrs Green was insistent upon us not using tofu. It was lucky, then, that a little research led us to trying to use chickpea flour instead of egg as the bland and creamy filling agent in a quiche. While we have mixed feelings about this replacement (Mrs Green likes it, me, I find it a bit “meh”), on the whole, it works.
This dish may seem a little labour intensive, but remember, a quiche is a labour of unselfconscious love and requires some elbow grease if you aren’t just buying a supermarket or deli lorraine. As a bonus, this makes for great leftovers and is very nice eaten the next day. I recommend it heated (like a real quiche), and it has the added benefit of quickly getting more solid than usually desired with reheating (unlike a real quiche).
As with many meals that we prepare we wanted to explore the most straightforward way of making the recipe, so we went for a ready made and ready rolled short crust pastry. While I thought this was absolutely fine (my view on pastry in general, I am not a huge fan), Mrs Green said this was the one thing we should really change the next time we make the quiche. It will then be truly a joint effort, even if Mrs Green assures me that making shortcrust pastry is really quick and easy. If you are eager to try the recipe with homemade pastry, have a look at this recipe.
We used a low salt bouillon in this recipe together with soy milk, which gave the filling a more “eggy” flavour. In the recipe below I suggest using veg broth (bouillon and water) and skipping the milk. Chickpea flour has a strong flavour that can be a bit much after the first few bites, so seasoning it well and choosing sweet/savoury, richly umami fillings is particularly key in using the chickpea flour filling. The fuller the flavour in the filling, the more it mellows out the chickpea flour, making the quiche more palatable to those who are not so enthused (like me).
Below are two ingredient suggestions (but as always, please let us know what you try so that it can be shared with others.
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 2 cups veg broth
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 package ready made shortcrust pastry
- 80g tender stem broccoli
- 80g asparagus
- 2 medium leeks
All griddled until gently cooked
- 500g white onion, cooked until completely caramelised
- 1 tbsp tamari/soy sauce
- Preheat oven to 180C
- Line an oven proof baking dish with baking parchment and carefully fill with the pastry
- Cover the pastry with parchment paper (base and sides) and weigh down the base with baking beans (marbles or dried beans).
- Bake for 10 minutes
- Remove baking beans and parchment paper and place the pastry back into the oven for another 10 minutes or until the pastry is a light brown.
- Mix all filling ingredients with cooked leek
- Place the broccoli on the pastry
- Pour mixture over the broccoli and then arrange the asparagus on top
- Bake for 45 minutes or until when a toothpick is inserted into the centre of the quiche filling comes out dry
- Mix all filling ingredients with the caramelised onion
- Pour mixture into pastry
- Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted into the centre of the quiche filling comes out dry