Sunday, 25 September 2011

Spinach & Silverbeeet Quiche

by Jemma at Time for a Little Something

We've just come into Spring here in New Zealand and it is a welcome change in season! I don't mind winter usually, especially being tucked up inside on a cold night with a glass of red wine and a tasty casserole! But it is lovely to see the first daffodils, lambs and of course, the new fresh green vegetables coming through.

You may also have heard about a certain sporting tournament that's currently taking place in New Zealand... the Rugby World Cup 2011 has well and truly taken over our country! There's a great atmosphere here - flags are in shops, offices, on cars and buildings, and our cafes and restaurants are chocka with visitors and locals having a great time.

So with a change in the weather and so much social activity going on here, I thought a nice weekend lunch to share with friends was in order. This spinach and silverbeet quiche is tasty, easy, and pretty good for you, too. Add a simple salad and maybe some crusty wholegrain rolls... and perhaps a bottle of New Zealand sauvignon blanc! ... and you have a great Sunday lunch. Even better if you can use produce from your own garden.

Don't forget, if you make homemade stock, you can use those odds and ends from the veges, and also the excess liquid that you drain from the greens. I recently read a handy tip from a fellow New Zealand food blogger - she saves all the trimmings from her veges during the week and adds them to a plastic bag in her freezer, then makes a chicken or vegetable stock with them at the weekend. Genius!

Spinach and Silverbeet Quiche
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 bunch spinach, washed, ends trimmed
4-5 silverbeet leaves, washed, white ends trimmed off
2 tsp mustard (I used mild English)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
80g feta, roughly chopped or crumbled
150g light cottage cheese
1/4 cup trim milk, or light evaporated milk
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
4-5 sheets filo pastry
olive oil cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 180 (c). Heat the olive oil in a large frypan, and gently cook the onion for a few minutes, until softened. Place the onion in a large bowl and set aside.

Return the pan to the heat, and add the spinach and silverbeet leaves. Add a splash of water, cover and steam until the leaves have just wilted. Drain, cool, and squeeze out the excess liquid. Roughly chop the greens and add them to the onion.

Add the mustard, eggs, feta, cottage cheese, milk and parmesan, and mix well. You could add other things in at this point too if you wish - chopped fresh herbs, or pinenuts work well. Season the mixture to taste - for me, the feta is salty enough, but freshly ground pepper is welcome. Set the bowl aside while you prepare the pastry.

Lightly spray a loose-bottomed quiche, flan or pie tin with cooking spray. Place one sheet of filo pastry down to line the dish, spray again and add another sheet, repeating until the sheets are stacked up, overlapping, so that the pan is lined. Fill with the silverbeet and spinach mixture, and scrunch the edges of the filo around to make a nice crust.

Bake the quiche for about 25 minutes, until the filling is set. Serves 4-6 for lunch. Bon appetit!