Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Longing for Summer - Pumpkin Pesto Quiche

I am so over this cold weather. A tropical gal like me can't take too much of winter. I'm sure that Quikong is tired of hearing me talking about the cold. It doesn't help that most of you (yes, you) have been writing about summer and blogging about sorbets, bbq, salads, peaches, etc...

This is my way of pretending it's summer.
Making a quiche. Maybe if I think warm thoughts, I'll feel warmer. How about that!? A quiche in the middle of winter, AND we had it for dinner.... I'm such a rebel. ;-)

I decided to try something new when I made this quiche - I added pesto to the liquid, no cream, and also used a lower fat wholemeal crust. Quikong and I really enjoyed it - the flavours of the roasted vegetables comes through, the pesto was not overwhelming but noticeable enough to add some depth to the filling and the wholemeal pastry was wonderfully flaky.

Pumpkin Pesto Quiche on a Wholemeal Crust

Wholemeal Shortcurst Pastry:
1 cup plain flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
4 oz butter
iced water

Process flours and butter in a food processor till it resembles fine crumbs. Add enough iced water to form a soft dough. Remove dough and knead lightly. Form a round disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes (this prevents shrikage of the pastry when baked).

Roll out the pastry in between two plastic wraps or a lightly floured surface, large enough to fit a 9-inch flan tin. carefuly lift pastry into the tin without stretching the pastry. Press pstry into the flutted sides. Prick the base and sides witha fork. Chill for 5 minutes.

Blind bake the pastry case: line the pastry with a sheet of non-stick baking paper and fill the tin with baking weights or dried beans/rice. Bake in a preheated oven (180 degreec C) for 10 mins. Remove the weights and paper and bake the pastry case for a further 10 mins, or until it is light golden in colour. Cool to room temperature.

Roasted pumpkin and red bell peppers
Low fat Greek-Style feta cheese, cut into small cubes
Sundried tomatoes, chopped
3 eggs
3/4 cup low fat milk
1 tbsp
(optional: a few roughly chopped flat leaf parsley)

Arrange the vegetables and feta cheese evenly in the pastry case.

Combine eggs, milk and pesto (& parsley, if using) in a jug and beat till well combined. Pour liquid into the pastry case.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until set and browned lightly. Serve with salad.

I had some left over pastry which fits a cute mini flan tin.


Janet said...

That looks great. No pumpkins around here for a while, but I will have to remember this recipe for the fall... Sorry that you are stuck in the middle of winter while we are enjoying summer... but how cold does it really get there in the winter, anyway? You can't beat -30 in Ottawa can you?

Patricia Scarpin said...

Nora, what a wonderful quiche you have here!
I love the flavors you mixed, the pesto got me curious.

The Cooking Ninja said...

That quiche of yours is delicious. What keeps me warm during winter is tomato soup and hot chocolate.

WokandSpoon said...

Hmmm...yeah...I'm trying to think warm thoughts over here too - and the worst part is that it's supposed to be summer! Your pumpkin pesto quiche is definitely perfect for our current summer weather ;-)

wellunderstood said...

looks yum! i know well that feeling of feeling like winter is endless. here in mytown, it snows in october and sometimes doesn't melt until may! hang in there, it will be over soon enough!

Lydia said...

Such an interesting combination of flavors -- I'd never think of pumpkin and pesto together. Thanks -- it looks wonderful!

Nora B. said...

Hi Janet, I'm embarrassed to say that the winter in Sydney is mild compared to Ottawa and Michigan (where I lived for a year). It doesn't even snow in Sydney (sometimes we get hail). However, central heating is uncommon here, so the houses are cold unless there is some sort of portable heating device. Plus, I'm just one of those people who gets cold easily in my hands and feet. And I prefer being outdoors, so having to stay indoors more often in winter makes me restless.
As for the quiche, try it with whatever veggies you have there, but try it with some pesto added.

Patricia, thanks. The addition of pesto makes the quiche more interesting.

The Cooking Ninja - thanks. Similar to you, keep warm with a lot of soup (usually pumpkin or some sort of lentil/bean soups) and "milo" (a choc drink).

Wok & Spoon - Thanks. I guess we are lucky that we get a "real" summer here.

Well Understood - Ok, I guess I should count my blessings because I don't think I can tolerate winter that lasts from Oct-May.

Lydia, thanks! You can use any veggies that you like but just add pesto for an interesting twist of flavour. No one will expect that in a quiche.

Wendy said...

Love the sound and look of this. Wishing I'd grown some pumpkins this year now..

Lucy said...

I'm over winter too. So early in the season...

This is great Nora, really flavourful and a wholemeal crust would just pull it all together.

Yum. Perfect for the wintered-out palate!

tigerfish said...

As long as the food warms my stomach, it can be my winter food. So as long as your quiche is warmly baked, why not?

Candace Dempsey said...

Nora, thanks so much for visiting my blog. It led me to yours and ... how fun. I am sitting here in Seattle, sweltering. It's only 95, but none of us have air conditioning and whew is it hot. I will try your quiche when things calm down. Candace, Italian Woman at the Table.

Eva said...

Nora, that's exactly what I need right now... Can't you come over and feed me the leftovers for lunch??

Cynthia said...

I say there are no rules, cook what you want when you want and have it! :)

Paola said...

that looks so beautiful and healthy!


Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Sounds yummy! We had Summer in Spring and it feels like Winter is here when it should be Summer. Meme is done and posted. Thank you, I enjoyed it and was more open than normal.

Nora B. said...

Wendy, wow you mean you know how to grow pumpkins? I am only familiar with the store bought ones :-)

Lucy, hopefully it won't be too wet or cold for much longer. I loved the wholemeal crust. I will make this crust again for other stuff I think.

Tigerfish, yes we ate it fresh out of the oven, nice and warm...yummm

Candace, thanks for dropping by. I loved Seattle when I was there many years ago. I love the fish market & the coffe culture there. That was also when I had my first taste of the glorious rainer cherries.

Eva, you know that I would have gladly shared my leftovers with you. :-)

Cynthia, I'm glad you said that. :-)

Paola, I definite felt less guilty eating that quiche compared to the usual one because I didn't use cream and less butter for the pastry.

Amanda, I'm quite familiar with the weather there since my sister did her postgrad degree and married there, and continued to live in the Uk for many years. Just read your meme response, I'm glad that you had fun. I was reluctant at first but then realised that it was pretty fun.

Meghan said...

this looks so delicious.

i can't wait to try it. i just love pumpkin!

valentinA said...

Pesto in Quiche?? never tried it before but it sure sounds tempting- VERY tempting I'd say!

Nora B. said...

Hi meghan, welcome! Thanks for dropping by. I love pumpkin too and I have it all year round.

Valentina, told you I'm a rebel ;-)

Anh said...

Wonderful quiche!!! I would love to make this soon...

I understand your longing for summer. But trust me, Sydney weather is so much better than Mel! When i got back to Mel from Syd this week, I got a cold because it is freezing here!

Karin said...

Making a journey to Australia, backpacking across the country.. have always been a dream of mine.

Well, that dream won´t come true. I´m too old now. Freezing cold winters, longing for summer, pretending it´s summer ... I know how it feels.

By the way, did you make your own pesto? Homemade pesto has a lot more flavor than the stuff you buy at the store. It´s easy to make if you got a mortar and pestle.

Nora B. said...

Anh, you're back! I had a feeling that you were on vacation. I hope you and your parents had a good time in Sydney. I know that winter is not that bad in Sydney, but I just can't seem to get used to cooler months because I love being outdoors.

Karin, you can still make a trip down under minus the backpacking. ;-) As for pesto, yes I usually make my own pesto. I use pine nuts or walnuts.

Oh for the love of food! said...

Hey Nora, your pumpkin quiche looks and sounds fabulous with the pesto! Answering your question: the sticky date recipe will make approx. 24 single serves. Fill the (paper) cups 3/4s full and sit them in muffin pans for added support. No, they don't stick to the cups. I'll be glad to help with any other questions you may have. Have fun with them!
I look forward to read a post on your 'Christmas in July dinner' :o)

KJ said...

I'm with you on the whole winter thing. It was 3C at midday here in Canbera today. And there are still months of this to go. Woe is me!!!

On the upside, your quiche looks delicious. I love pesto.

Kelly-Jane said...

I love that tart, really my thing :)

It may be Summer here in Scotland, but it's not very hot!!

Nora B. said...

Carol - Thanks for the extra info. about the sticky date pudding. Will do my best to give a good report about the Xmas in July party.

Hi KJ, oh, I hope it doesn't snow there.

Kelly-Jane, thanks! ok, i don't feel so bad now. ;-)

Tartelette said...

It's funny, you thik quiche for spring and for me it means winter. The least I have got to turn the oven on , the happier I am.
I love this recipe, the flavors must be wonderful

Nora B. said...

Hi Helène. I think that quiche is a spring/summer food only because my first experience encounter was having it for lunch in England. I guess the summers there are not that warm so having the oven on was not such a bad thing.

Peabody said...

I'll trade you, I am longing for Fall/ can have my Summer.

Nora B. said...

Peabody, sure, but only if I can have a tub of your Flames Cup Winning Ice Cream.

sognatrice said...

Ah, Blogger ate my comment!

Just wanted to say thanks for visiting my place, and that as soon as I'm done typing here, I'll be subscribing :)

Shaun said...

Nora - Great use of pumpkin! I have to say that I am especially drawn to your shortcrust pastry because I've never used so much flour for one before. I love that you have used wholewheat flour and will soon attempt this as a base for something...perhaps not a quiche, though it is Summer in the US.