(Vegan) Quiche with Spinach and Mushroom
This is one recipe that I was a little hesitant to put up on my blog! The dilemma was the result of mixed reactions to this quiche with spinach and mushrooms that I tried a few weeks ago. While 3 out of 5 liked the dish, 2 of us didn’t really enjoy it much!! And one of the two who voted against the dish was me!! Although my brother, who has traveled to Europe and spent a good 4 weeks backpacking all around there, insisted that the quiche tasted quite authentic, I chose to ignore his statements as something said out of biased love for a sibling! For some reason, I was really upset about the dish.
Nevertheless, this recipe does go up on my blog for two reasons, one, because there may be others who may like this dish after all and two, as a reminder never to jump into a recipe before reading it carefully!! Often I am in such a hurry to try out a different recipe that I forget to read the recipe closely. Sometimes its not just the recipe that gives you your final dish. Its the understanding of the cuisine, the methods involved or sometimes even an understanding of the ingredients that finally add up to making a good dish. Especially when it comes to trying out recipes from different cuisines, if you want an authentic or close to authentic version of the dish, then it is essential that you read a bit about the dish and the cuisine before trying it out.
I didn’t do any of the above before I tried this quiche and so I skipped some very vital information – which I did manage to acquire albeit a little late!! “Quiche” is a part of French cuisine and essentially consists of a pastry base with filling consisting primarily of a custard (a mixture of eggs, milk and cream) with vegetables or meat and cheese. However, this quiche recipe here is for the pure vegetarians (which I’m not and which you’ve probably guessed is the part of the recipe that I missed!!) or for those who may be allergic to eggs. Instead of the custard this recipe uses white sauce for the filling along with spinach and mushrooms. I could’ve easily made the authentic quiche using eggs, milk and cream but my impulsiveness resulted in me ending up with this quiche! I promise you, i’ll come back soon with the original quiche soon!! Until then, here’s how I made this vegan quiche.
For the base:
2 cups flour (maida)
90 gms cold butter
1 tsp salt
For the white sauce: Refer to my post Ah! Lasagna! https://dishingupsomefood.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/ah-lasagna/
1 1/2 cups mushrooms thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups spinach, blanched and chopped up fine
2-3 cloves garlic crushed
Red chilli flakes to taste
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
Salt to taste
For preparing the base, sieve the flour with salt. Add cold butter to the flour and start mixing with your fingers. Don’t heat the butter because the heat from your fingers will slowly melt the butter and the mixture will turn into the consistency of bread crumbs. Now add 4-5 tbsps of cold water and start mixing it to slowly form a dough. The dough is meant to be really tight so don’t be tempted to add more water and make it soft. The thumb rule is to add water bit by bit to make the dough. You may use more water so long as you don’t pour all of the water in one go and spoil the dough.
Cover the dough with some cling film and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Then roll out the dough and line a pie tin with it. If you don’t have a pie tin, use any baking dish with low and slightly slanted sides. I rolled out the dough to a medium sized circle with my rolling pin, put it into the baking dish and then I simply used my fingers to spread the dough onto the sides and base of the dish. The quantity of dough that this recipe yields will cover a medium sized pie tin (see pic of final dish to get an idea).
Once you’ve spread it onto the pie dish, prick the whole base with a fork. Remember, pricking the base is very important. This is done to prevent the base from fluffing up when you put it into the oven. Set it in the refrigerator once again for about 10-15 mins. Then take it out and bake it in a preheated oven at 200 deg C for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic, red chilli flakes and mushrooms and saute for a minute or two until the water from the mushrooms has completely evaporated. See my tip on cooking mushrooms in an earlier post – https://dishingupsomefood.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/farfalle-with-veggies-and-pesto-dressing/
Now add the blanched spinach and saute again for a few minutes. (see tips) Add salt and season according to your taste.
By now the base should have baked. Take it out and fill with a layer of mushroom and spinach and then pour the white sauce over the filling. Spread the grated Cheddar cheese as the final layer on the top.
Now bake this in a preheated oven at 180 deg C for about 20-25 minutes until you see the cheese on top has browned well.
1. One of the easier methods of blanching is to slowly pour boiling water all over washed spinach. I tried this and the spinach blanched just fine.