Thursday, 5 December 2013

From one friend to another... Lisa's Lentil Quiche

Lisa is one of my oldest friends.  We met back in college, where we bonded over our shared passion for animal rights, environmentalism and confusion over physics.  We've shared many family days together as our children have grown from bouncing on the trampoline to tracking down our teens at parties they're not supposed to be at.  This quiche has appeared at many of our get togethers and the kids all love it.  Her addition of brown lentils adds some real substance to this recipe, and is a little healthy twist on a tea time favourite.  I said to my daughter the other day 'I'm going to make a quiche' and she immediately piped up "Lisa's lentil quiche?"  So here you go, from one friend to another...   

Lisa's Deep Dish Lentil Quiche

Shortcrust pastry:
340g plain flour
120g cold butter, roughly chop
1 free range egg
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp cold milk
Or you can use ready made pastry

250g cooked brown lentils
1 red onion
Balsamic vinegar
Brown sugar
1 small head of broccoli, cut into small florets
3 medium vine tomatoes
6 free range eggs
400g cream cheese
150g grated mature cheddar cheese
2 tbsp fresh or dried thyme
salt & pepper

  1. Put all the pastry ingredients in a food processor and pulse gently until mixture comes together. Wrap in cling film and leave in fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Fine slice one large red onion and fry in pan with a little oil and pinch of salt. Cook for 6-7 mins until softened, then add 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp of brown sugar. Cook gently until onions are fully softened and caramelised.
  3. Place broccoli florets in boiling water and cook for 3-4 mins, then drain and plunge in cold water. Set aside.
  4. Whisk eggs, cream cheese, thyme, 1/2 tsp each of salt & pepper.  Remove cores of tomatoes and slice each half into 3-4 pieces.
  5. If using dried lentils, boil for about 20 mins until soft but not falling apart. Rinse and set aside.
  6. Grease a 25cm deep flan tin, and line the bottom with a disc of greaseproof paper.  Roll out pastry to 4-5mm thickness and line tin, leaving edges overhanging. Line the pastry with sheet of greaseproof and fill with baking beans. Bake in oven for 20 mins at 190 C.  Remove paper and beans and bake for another 5 mins. Remove from oven and turn down temperature to 165 C.
  7. Spread red onion marmalade across bottom of flan dish, then sprinkle layer of cooked brown lentils, then add a layer of the broccoli florets and another layer of lentils. Pour over cheese mixture, and agitate to ensure liquid is evenly dispersed across veg. Layer top with pieces of tomato, then pour over remaining liquid. Sprinkle grated cheese across the top and bake for 30-35 mins in oven at 170 C.  
  8. Remove from oven and using sharp serrated knife, shave off excess pastry around edge of tin.  Scatter remaining fresh thyme over top.  Serve warm with a big salad.

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