As soon as I can grow my own veggies, the first crops I will try my hand at are potatoes and onions. Not only because they’re sturdy and relatively easy to grow in colder climes, but also because they’re both so versatile I wouldn’t be worried about having too much. This dish is essentially the love child of a quiche and a gratin: a gruiche, if you will. The potato is soft and garlicky, the cheese is cheesy, the crust is light and flaky, and the pickled red onions add crunch and tang.
Ingredients (for 3-4):
for the crust:
200 g plain flour
100 g cold butter
100 ml cold water
1 tsp salt
for the filling:
4 medium sized waxy potatoes
4 cloves of garlic
275 ml crème fraîche
300 g soft goat’s cheese
dried herbs: thyme or oregano
for the pickled onions:
3 red onions
6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
- Mix the flour, salt and cold cubes of butter until you achieve a crumb-like texture. Use a food processor with a sharp knife, or just use two sharp knives to cut the butter into the flour.
- Add the water until the dough forms into a ball, wrap it up tightly and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Dust a clean work surface with flour and roll out the dough. Then transfer it to a greased baking tin and shape it with your fingers.
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees and first blind bake it for 15-20 minutes. This will prevent sogginess and ensures your crust is as crispy and flaky as it can be. As you can see, I’ve used ceramic baking beans.
- The clever way to do it is to line the crust with a sheet of baking paper first. That way you can take them all out in one go after you’re done blind baking your crust. The less clever way is to forget about the paper, which will leave your crust looking like this:
- Admittedly, it has a certain charm to it, but getting all those little ceramic balls out of there was a bit of a pain. And even worse: I accidentally left one in!
The pickled onions
- Peel and thinly slice the onions.
- Put them in a heat-proof bowl and submerge in just-boiled water. Drain when the water has cooled a little.
- Mix sugar, salt and balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Heat gently and pour it over the onions as soon as it’s hot. Don’t breathe in too deeply: vinegar evaporates really quickly. Leave to pickle for at least an hour and longer if possible. They will only get better with time!
The quiche filling
- Peel the potatoes and slice them very thinly.
- Pour a glug of olive oil in a large frying pan. Sauté the potato slices on low to medium heat until they’ve softened.
- Season with salt, pepper and dried herbs and add the crushed garlic. Fry for another minute and set aside.
- Whisk the eggs with the crème fraîche and some salt and pepper.
- First arrange the potato slices on the bottom of the quiche.
- Crumble the goat’s cheese on top.
- Pour over the egg and cream mixture and season with some more pepper and herbs.
- Bake for about 30 minutes at 180 degrees or until the egg mixture has set and the top is golden brown and bubbly.
- Serve with the pickled onions.