Blockbuster of a dish and a contest

I’ve never been brand-conscious, except maybe when it comes to the pair of jeans I wear and when I’m grocery shopping. But I don’t mind trying something new when it hits the marker and I’m a sucker for samplers and trial packs. When I saw that Del Monte had announced this contest on IndiBlogger I knew I had to participate just because of the number of their products I use – there’s always a bottle of olive oil and a jar of olives. I’ve used their farfalle in a delish arrabiatta, the tinned pineapples in a classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake, the fruit cocktail in a custard for a trifle and I’ve been wanting to try the peaches too. But before we get down to the recipe for this contest, I’d like to tell you something more about the Tre formaggio   (three cheeses in Italian) loaded veggie quiche.

The fiance was coming home and he was particular about two things – one, that I cook a brilliant meal for him (which included all his favourites) and the other, a road trip to Puducherry. And one of the things that he goes ‘drooooool’ for is a quiche! Now, since I try and keep away from eggs in baking as much as I can I wanted to try my hand at a vegetarian quiche. He balked at the idea and demanded to know what I’d use instead of the eggs but there was no way I was letting out my little secret. I’d read online that crumbled silken tofu is a good substitute for eggs and that’s exactly what I intended to use. I know he doesn’t like tofu but I wanted to disguise it effectively using lots of veggies and I guess I was successful to a certain extent because there were no leftovers! That, for me, is a sign of a blockbuster of a dish!

For the crust I used my favourite whole wheat flour and olive oil (Del Monte in this case, of course) which complemented the veggies and herbs really well. The tre formaggio – three cheeses – are a parmesan, mozarella and a touch of smoked cheese, which takes the dish to another level.

These are a few of my favourite things

Tre formaggio (three cheeses) loaded veggie quiche

For the shortcrust pastry
200 gms of whole wheat flour
1/4 cup of Del Monte’s Olive Oil
1 tsp of dried herbs, I used oregano and thyme
Salt to taste
Cold water to bind

In a mixing bowl tip in the flour, salt and herbs. Create a well in the centre and pour in the olive oil.
Using your fingertips work the oil into the flour slowly until it begins to resemble breadcrumbs.
Slowly add the cold water and gently bring the dough together. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Cover it with cling film and allow it to rest in the fridge for about an hour.

Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a floured surface. Use a rolling pin and roll out the dough till it is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

Now place the dough in a greased fluted tin or a pie mould. Press it along the surface of the mould and trim the excess away.

Prick with a fork and blind bake the crust in a pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius or until it has started to change colour.

Remove from the oven and allow it to cool down.

For the filling
1 small tin of Del Monte’s sweet corn kernels, drained
1 cup of green zucchini, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup of broccoli florets, chopped, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup of yellow bell peppers, chopped, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup of Del Monte’s  black olives, sliced
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 tbsp of all-purpose flour
2 tbsp of Del Monte’s Olive Oil
100 gms of silken tofu, crumbled
2 tsp of Del Monte’s Mustard sauce
1/2 cup of milk
2-3 tsp of dried herbs – I used rosemary and basil
Salt to taste

Top top the quiche: 2 tbsp each of grated Parmesan, Mozarella and Smoked cheese

In a pan heat the olive oil on a low flame, add the onions and saute until it turns brown. Now add the garlic and saute until this begins to change colour. Add the flour and mix well until it coats the onion and garlic, slowly add the milk to this followed by the crumbled tofu. Heat the sauce on a low flame until it begins to bubble, keep stirring continuously to prevent it from burning at the bottom of the pan. Stir in the Mustard sauce and season the sauce.

Next add the broccoli and zucchini while the sauce is still bubbling cover and let it cook. Lower the flame after two minutes and add the sweet corn. Cook for another minute, add the salt, herbs and take it off the flame. Add the olives to this now and cover. The veggies will continue to cook in the heat.

To proceed with the quiche:
Spread the filling evenly over the shortcrust pastry and sprinkle the grated cheese over this along with a dusting of herbs.
Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius until the top has turned brown and the filling has set. It will still be a little wobbly but that’s alright.
Serve warm and enjoy!

Say cheese

*When you’re working with the shortcrust pastry make sure that your hands are always cold otherwise the warmth can cause the pastry to become uneven in places. For this purpose keep some ice cubes soaked in water next to you on the kitchen counter and keep dipping your fingers into them.
*To make a variation to the pastry: Add some herbs or even chilli flakes for that kick.
*You can customise the filling as you like, reduce the veggies and add bacon or sausages, add fresh herbs or even some Del Monte pasta which has been cooked till al dente.

The pastry trimmings and leftovers became three mini quiches!

Another look at the quiche

Sitting pretty at the table

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