Monday, June 27, 2011

Quiche fit for a mom brunch.. and Granita!

Wow, my hiatus was much longer than I expected! My apologies. No excuses, I got busy and then at home laziness took over, but I am back now and ready to share some recipes!

This may be my last decadent recipe for then next little while. I am about to embark on some mega dieting to fit into a bridesmaid dress. That, I am not looking forward to. I hope to find some tasty low calorie salads to get me through the next few weeks. Please send along suggestions!

Now before I ran away from the blog world, I was invited to attend a mom's group brunch party. I am not a mom, but somehow I got my in. Of course, I had to get some vegan treats involved in what is normally a meat/dairy fest style meal. I went to my vegan bible, veganomicon and decided to attempt a vegan quiche. I wanted to avoid the usual tofu-based dish since this was being served to a group on non-vegans. I don't know why, but something about tofu can freak the omnivores out. I think this group would have been fine, they were pretty cool and with the except of some scary birthing stories, it was an excellent time! I think the quiche was a big hit, and I certainly went for seconds. My sister, the vegan flirt, got into the groove and made an amaaaazing watermelon granita. So, so tasty; I could have ate the whole tray (you can see why a diet may be in order for me)
First off, the quiche:

Asparagus Quiche with Tomatoes and Tarragon (From Veganomicon)
  • 1 pie crust
    • 1 1/2 cups of flour
    • 1 Tbsp sugar
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1/3 cup of vegan shortening
    • 1/4 cup of cold water
    • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Lbs (about half a large bunch) of asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 can of navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup of tarragon, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tarragon, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pepper
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 4 slices of a large tomato
First, make the crust (I did this the night before to save some time for sleeping). Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add the shortening in small batches and cut it into the flour mix until it is crumbly and pebbly. Combine the vinegar and water and add to the flour in small batches and stir with a fork until well combined. The dough should hold together when you pinch it. You may need to add some extra water, add by spoonfuls. Now, take the dough and kneed a few times. Prep a work space with parchment paper and flour. Roll the dough out until it is about 12". Then use the parchment paper to transfer it to the pie plate.

The trick to making the dough is to make all ingredients as cold as possible. Keep even the flour in the fridge if you can. The colder the better.  In the end my crust was tasty, but the heat in my apartment made it a bit tougher than it should be. Hot apartment dweller beware!
OK, back to the quiche! cut the tips off of 4 asparagus spears and set aside. Heat a skillet to medium heat and add the oil. Saute the asparagus for about 5-7 minutes. While it is cooking, add the walnuts, 1/4 cup of tarragon and the nutmeg in a food processor and pulse into crumbs.
Remove the asparagus from the heat and set aside. Saute the shallots in a bit more oil in the same pan and saute for 3 minutes. Next add the garlic and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Transfer this to the bowl with the asparagus to cool.

Now, add the veggies to the food processor and pulse a few times. Add the beans and puree until smooth. Add the cornstarch and process again. Put the mixture back into the bowl and cool for 45 minutes or so.

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Cover the pastry in the pie plate with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Once done, add the mixture into the pie crust and smooth it out. Sprinkle half of the breadcrumbs and drizzle with oil. Add the sliced tomato and asparagus tips on top then sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs, pepper, salt, and tarragon. Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake the quiche for about 45 minutes. Let it cool a bit before serving!

Whew - a lot of ingredients and a lot of instructions, but the plan is simple. Cook the veggies process it all together and bake in a prepped crust! It took about 90 min from start to finish. Two changes I will make next time, add some cornmeal to the pastry crust. I made a crust like this before and I think it would do well here. At the party Tara suggested that I don't fully process all the walnuts and asparagus to give more texture. I think with would make it even better! But the recipe alone is a hit. If you have some time, try it.

Now, the granita... this recipe came from Colour me Vegan by Colleen Patrick Goudreau and as my first granita, I am sold. I want to eat granita every day. It is not labour intensive, but you do need to be at home for like 3 hours to make it.
Watermelon Granita (From Colour me Vegan)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 4 cups of watermelon chunks (about half a watermelon)
  • Juice of one lime
  • Mint leaves for garnish
Make a simple syrup by combining the water and sugar on the stove over high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Add the cooled syrup, watermelon and lime to a blender and puree. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish (casserole or something similar) and put it in the freezer. after one hour, take it out and rake it with a fork. Put it back in the fridge and repeat this 3 times. Serve in pretty glasses and garnish with watermelon slices and mint (Don't forget to spank the mint for a beautiful aroma).
Perfect treat for a summer night... or morning!

Whew, this recipe was way less to write about. I hope to make this one again and maybe adding different fruit. A must try and a total hit of the party!

OK, coming up this week will be some salad recipes I think and other low calorie ways to eat vegan (It is harder than you may think!) I vow not to become a stereotype of living on guinea pig food, so I will be trying to find some for real tasty low calorie treats!

Bye for now!


  1. I really like quiche, but as a vegetarian I have yet to make a vegan one. Ihave this book and you making it has tempted me to try it in the very near future.

  2. I fully recommend this one. Play around with the ingredients too. The base would work well with spinach, mushrooms, kale. I can't wait to alter this recipe. The only down side is that it takes some time to make it.