Quiche for Pesach

When I make this quiche during the year, I use a butter crust. For Pesach, here’s an alternative that is very delicious, but does require more work (which is why I don’t make it very often, but once a year, I will.) It’s from the wonderful Moosewood Cookbook, and stands the test of time. While the crust has to be completely different to be kosher for Pesach, the filling is virtually the same as usual, only using potato flour instead of regular flour. Seeing as you’ll be working a little harder on the crust, you may want to opt for one of the easier fillings…

Ingredients

Filling Options (pick one of the fillings below)

Antipasti Filling

2 tablespoons olive oil

Antipasti vegetables

2 red peppers cut into quarters (I slice the cheeks off the core of the pepper to avoid using the white bits)

1 medium-sized sweet potato peeled and sliced into 2 cm (½ inch slices)

1 very small eggplant or 3-4 mini-eggplants peeled and sliced into 2 cm (½ inch slices)

1 red onion peeled and cut into 8 segments (cut the onion in half then with the round side down, slice from the middle outwards at an angle so you get 4 crescents from each half)

3 small zucchinis halved

3-4 large mushrooms washed and stemmed (leave whole to roast)

1 whole head of garlic (remove the loose papery skins on the outside by hand but leave the inner layers on)

Salt

Onion

Peel and slice 3 large onions and saute in olive oil until they are golden brown. Add 3 cloves of crushed garlic and saute for another 1 minute while stirring the garlic around. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Leek and Onion filling

Use one large leek with the outer layer removed, wash and slice into think slices, and saute with one large onion in olive oil until all soft. Add 3 cloves of crushed garlic and saute for another 1 minute while stirring the garlic around. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Pepper filling

Slice 3-4 peppers (any combination of red, yellow and orange) and saute in olive oil until they are soft. Add 3 cloves of crushed garlic and saute for another 1 minute while stirring the garlic around. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Mushroom filling

Saute one medium-sized onion in olive oil until soft. Add 250g (¼ lb) fresh, washed and sliced mushrooms and saute until soft. Add salt, pepper and a sprinkle of dried thyme.

Note: You can also use any salty cheese or goats cheese  - about ½ cup in any of these fillings will give it extra flavor

Potato Crust

Butter (for greasing pan)

2 cups grated raw potato

¼ cup grated onion

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon potato flour

Olive oil (for brushing)

½ cup grated cheddar cheese

Custard

4 eggs

1½ cups milk

3 tablespoons potato flour

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon dried basil

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

How to do it

Antipasti

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F)

Roasted antipasti

2. On an oven tray lined with baking paper, sprinkle the olive oil and place all the cut vegetables in an even layer, turning them through the olive oil so their tops are lightly oiled. Make sure the peppers are skin side down. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

3. Place in the upper part of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Then, using tongs, turn over all the vegetables except for the onions. Bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until the pepper skins start blackening.

4. Remove from the oven and place the peppers in a small plastic bag and seal. Leave the peppers for about 15 minutes while the rest of the veggies cool. Then remove the pepper skins – they should slide off easily.

5. Slice the roasted mushrooms, zucchini, peppers and eggplant (if using mini-eggplant, you don’t have to cut them further). Separate the layers of the onion, removing any dry outside layers. Squeeze out the roasted garlic from each clove (it comes out like toothpaste). Set all aside.

Pre-baked Crust

1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C (400°F)  and grease a 23 cm (9 inch) round pie dish.

2. Place the grated potatoes in a strainer, sprinkle with salt and allow the water to drain out of the potatoes for at least half an hour – there will be a lot of liquid. Squeeze the water out with your hands, and get the potatoes as dry as possible. (You can also gather the potato up in a large piece of cheese cloth, and squeeze the water out that way.)

3. Mix the potatoes in a mixing bowl with the onion, egg and potato flour. Spread it evenly into the pie dish and up the sides using your hands.

4. Bake for 30 minutes. Then brush the crust lightly with olive oil and return to the oven. Bake for a further 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove and immediately toss the grated cheese onto the bottom of the crust and allow to melt.

5. Turn the oven down to 190°C (375°F)


Custard and assembly

1. Beat together well all the custard ingredients.

2. Arrange the antipasti vegetables in the pre-baked crust evenly. I keep the sweet potato and the red peppers for the top as they have the most color.

3. Place on your oven rack and carefully pour the custard mixture into the dish, making sure you only fill to the top of the crust, no further, so it doesn’t overflow into the dish (if it does, it’s not the end of the world). You may not have to use all the custard mixture, depending on how many vegetables are in the crust.

4. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the filing is solid.

You can freeze this and reheat covered with foil for about 20 minutes in a medium oven.

Antipasti Quiche (this is the chametz version in the picture, but it will not look very different with the potato crust..

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