I’ve taken this month off, the truth is that I still feel “off”, someone close to us has passed away and it has shattered our world. I cannot remember having truly dealt with this sort of grief before…memories, many of which I was anaware of have striked me, to make me reconsider attitudes, priorities, to live in order to not regret. I don’t want time to slowly wash away these feelings, to wipe those ideas as our everyday race engulfs us in its maelstrom. But, I’m also literally out of breath, I have difficulty breathing from this whirlpool of emotions. Nothing time won’t heal, but I need time, so I’m taking it slowly…
Anyway, I meant to publish this quiche a few weeks back which is when I first tried it and fell in love with the possibility of substituting the usual “pâté brisée” used as a pastry base for most quiches and tarts with this flavourful, cheaper, healthier and quicker alternative!!I was browsing through food photographs by Con Poulos when I came across one of quiche that caught my attention for the rustic look of the crust that linked to this recipe site. I read about the shredded potato crust and though I love röstis it hadn’t occurred to me to use it as a quiche base!
I decided to give it a try with the belief that although tasty, the cream base would pour through the base (which honestly wouldn’t matter much as you can even make quiches without a crust -call them flans or puddings- but in this case it would get soggy rather than the nice crunchy contrast). I sticked with the recipe main filling ingredients, that is mushrooms and spinach, because I had liked the looks, but of course you can change them to whatever is in season or you like, like cherry tomatoes, bacon & onion, roasted rep peppers and goat cheese, the possibilities are endless and up to you. I just changed the cream base to one more to my liking (the original recipe was low-fat…I’m not so concerned in making it such) and made the rösti base my way, skipping the chopped onion part to make it quicker, not adding any cornflour but using floury potatoes instead for a crisper but lighter result and adding some garlic and fresh romesary to flavour the potatoes…that went beautifully with the mushroom filling, I find.
So, here it is, I hope you give the crust a try, because it is an excellent approach to making quiches, add to it any flavourings available to you according to the time you want to spend to make it. For a quick rösti crust, just spice it with something that goes well with your filling, fresh herbs (I’d love to try sage, for instance with a ricotta and spinach tart…like traditional raviolis!)or dried ones, some pastes (like red pepper paste), slowly fried onion and bacon…Pick one, you won’t regret it!
Spinach & mushroom quiche with rosemary & garlic rösti crust
For the crust:
aprox 450g peeled floury potatoes
1-2 tbsp of olive oil
3-4 whole garlic cloves
some fresh rosemary, finely sliced
salt and fresly ground pepper, to taste
For the filling:
150g of cream (or up to 200g if it fits your mould)
more salt & pepper to taste
50g or more of a cheese that melts ( I used Arzúa Ulloa, which I’m addicted to)
200g of mushrooms (I used portobello, but if you have a tastier variety, even better!)
250g of fresh (baby) spinach
some more sprigs of rosemary
Begin by grating the peeled potatoes with a coarse grind
Season them to taste with the salt & freshly ground pepper and the finely chopped up rosemary (if you choose to use it)
Preheat lightly a 26-28cm skillet (if you haven’t got one, in any case I’d go bigger, to make sure you get at least 2-3cm sides on a 22cm quiche mould.
Add the bit of olive oil and add the seasoned grated potatoes together with the garlic cloves lightly smashed to release their aroma & flavour.
Give it a few turns to flavour the potato and soften (cook) it lightly and spread it evenly over the base and remember to remove the garlic cloves :)
It is IMPERATIVE, that your pan is non-stick, or at least very helpful, as the cooked potato pancake will slide off easily, otherwise you may go through hell!!So, if it isn’t I suggest you cure it with some salt so the potato doesn’t stick
Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until you get a light golden colour on the bottom and invert over the greased (with olive oil) quiche pan. I lined it with some parchment (just in case) but it would have come out without a problem).
Bake for about 15 minutes on a 180ºC (fan-assisted) preheated oven to get again a golden colour (lighter to how you like it). Take into account, that it will need about 15 minutes more with the filling to cook, so if left to the colour you like blind baked, it will get too dark later.
Meanwhile prepare your filling ingredients, in this case, sauté the spinach in batches in a drizzle of oil, remove excess water by pressing against a strainer and season as instructed here.
Sautée the chopped mushrooms, with some more garlic cloves and rosemary if you like over high heat with little olive oil. Again, just remember to remove them once finished.
And mix the eggs and the cream and set aside to season just before filling.
When the crust is ready, assemble it, adding some of the greated cheese in the bottom to impermeabilise the crust a bit and distributing the rest of the ingredients to finally pour in the seasoned quiche cream mix almost up to the rim.
Bake until set, which will probably take 15 more minutes. If you like a paler look to the top, simply lower the temperature to 150ºC and just cook longer until set.
Ready to enjoy! Let cool or serve inmediately!