As I sit here writing this post I am wearing one of my biggest jumpers, the rain is thundering on the skylight and I am contemplating getting a hot water bottle – did I mention it is August? Like everyone else who resides in Northern Europe my mantra is, as always the sun will shine again and warm days will happen. A quiche has a solid reputation for being a summer food. Adorning many a gourmet picnic table and well styled Instagram alfresco vignette the quiche has earned the title of ‘summer food’ I would like to add a but here, and it is a pretty big but, it is actually quite a heavy dish.
On those days when you can sit out and enjoy a picnic or an alfresco lunch a quiche feels like it sits in the pit of your stomach. Of course it does it has so many eggs in it. Not to mention the buttery pastry. Both of those are ingredients I adore but on a hot day we all want to eat less, or certainly enjoy a meal that feels lighter. For those days, and the days when you have prepared far too many salads and side dishes because someone bought you the new Ottolenghi book for Christmas and you finally got around to trying it out, this is the quiche!
A few things keep this dish a lot lighter than a traditional quiche. Firstly is uses far less eggs, this is because of the fact it is a soufflé quiche, a kind of hybrid food shall we say. I also chose to use filo pastry and swapped cream for natural yogurt. Okay not all of you will use cream with your eggs but I will always have one foot still in my Parisian apartment and on the corner of my road the bakery makes the best quiche and cream is certainly used.
There is something so satisfying about using fresh herbs you have grown yourself in the kitchen.
From late Spring I have so many herbs to choose from. There is something quite lovely about picking fresh herbs to cook with and something you can do with only a container garden. A part of me feels like I have stepped into the anthropologie catalogue in a floral gown snipping fresh herbs. In reality I am rarely in a floral gown and my hair is dragged back, after all I am about to cook and my days in catering instilled in me that people rarely like to eat your hair.
The word soufflé scares most people and adding it to the word quiche probably does not make it less daunting. A soufflé is when you separate the eggs. Traditionally you make a rich bechamel sauce with the egg yolks, however in this case I used yogurt and did not add any flour.
Without further ado the recipe.
You Will Need;
- 2 courgettes
- Approximately 8 sheets of filo pastry
- Melted butter
- 4 eggs, separated
- Fresh thyme and oregano
- Salt and pepper
- A little olive oil
- 1/2 cup natural yogurt
- Slice the courgettes, drizzle with a little oil and sprinkle with salt and then grill them until they have started to brown but not turned brown.
- Meanwhile separate your eggs. Into the egg yolks mix the natural yogurt and a good picking of fresh thyme and oregano, I don’t skimp on quantity. If you have to you can replace this with dried herbs but I always find dried herbs have an earthier flavour. Season with salt and pepper, combine these and set aside.
- Into a springform cake tin layer the filo pastry using melted butter.
- Whisk the whites into firm peaks.
- Gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites.
- Layer half of the courgettes on the base. Pour in you soufflé mixture, then gently layer the other half of your courgettes. Sprinkle with black pepper. Place into a cold oven, turn the heat up to 160C and bake until set and browned. If you feel the pastry edges are browning too quickly and the quiche is not set then turn the oven down.
- Remove from the tin immediately so that your filo pastry does not get soggy but let it rest for 5/10 mins before cutting it will be easier. We served it with crisp kale from the allotment.