Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Dinner on a run: courgette, ricotta and ham quiche

Oh, Mondays! It's that day in the week when everything seems to need to happen at high speed. Maybe it's because we've grown accustomed to the slightly slower pace of the weekends, but Mondays always shake us up and cries in our ears "faster, faster, no time, no time".

Monday evening, Bibu has his swimming lesson, so it means I have to first pick up baby Pingu from daycare, then drive with Pingu to get Bibu and take him to the swimming pool, where I need to help him get dressed into his swimming trunks/ pester him for doing silly stuff and not hurrying up/ run after baby Pingu who wants nothing else than to touch everything in the changing room (other kids' dirty underwear included). En fin, you get the picture. Relaxing it is NOT.

And, when we get home, it's about 18:30 and there are two small kids demanding food NOW, so no use starting to cook at that time. The solution: it's quiche time!

I am working from home at the moment, so I can afford to make it at some point during the afternoon, before all the mayhem begins. If you work full time, a good idea is to make it the night before (great Sunday-night blues-beating pass-time)

Anyway, it's also a good way of getting kids to eat veggies without realising. The ricotta gives it a light flavour and both kids devour it in no time. Baby Pingu eats his virtually unaided (with his hands. Hey he's only a toddler) and will not leave a single crumb left.

Again, this is a courgette quiche (or tart? Does anyone know the difference?), but you can make a version with other vegetables of your choice.

Ingredients (for one tart, 8 portions)

  • bit of olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped as small as you can
  •  3 medium courgettes, chopped in little cubes
  • 1 ready round puff pastry (pate feuillete)
  • 1 pack of ricotta cheese (about 250gr)
  • 1/2 a cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven at 180° C. Cook the chopped onion in a little olive oil, in a pan, on low heat, until it becomes transparent. 

Then add the chopped courgettes (or zucchini), cover with the lid and let them "sweat" for about 10 to 15 minutes, until they are cooked but now brown. Check every now and then and give it a stir with a wooden spoon.

Take out from the stove, and set aside to cool for a bit.

Roll out your ready pastry on a round baking tray (leave the baking paper, it will avoid the tart getting stuck to the bottom) and pinch it with a fork a few times. Line the bottom of the quiche with a layer of ham. This also helps to avoid the sogginess which can be quite common in this type of quiches.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, the ricotta and the Parmesan together, season to taste. Add the cooked courgettes to the mix and then pour the whole thing over the ham-lined pastry. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes. Et, voila!

Once it's cooked, I usually just turn the oven off (mine is an electric one) and leave the quiche inside until I come back with my two hungry little caterpillars, ready to attack it.

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