I can't believe how quickly this year is disappearing. It's nearly the end of November and I'm not ready! Summer just finished right? It doesn't seem like the pepper plant I was growing in my garden was ready either. We were both to busy kicking back enjoying the mild, practically warm, Autumn, and then, out of nowhere Winter was upon us!
Mid Summer me and Alice brought a pepper plant for our garden, it came with two small shiny green peppers on, ready for harvesting at the end of Summer. We placed the plant pride of place in our garden, on the deck next to the herb bed, and cooed over all the lovely things we could do with our peppers. Unfortunately Fifer had other ideas, we found our two peppers, torn from their stems, chewed up and discarded, we knew the culprit instantly. So we thought our little pepper plant was likely done for the season, and sighed as we would have to wait another whole year for peppery delights. But low and behold, thanks to the incredibly hot summer and mild Autumn our pepper plant recovered, and grew six more peppers.
By Mid October a couple of the peppers were turning red, and so I decided to bring the plant in so the peppers could fully ripen without risk of frost. This week the peppers were finally ready to be cooked with, and I had to find a dish worthy of their beauty. The peppers absolutely had to be the star of the show!
I've been really trying to eat more seasonally since starting this blog, as it is the best way to eat for the environment, and I know mid November is strictly not pepper season, but it is if your my little pepper plant. And what is better (environmentally and in general!) than eating freshly picked food from your own garden?
I ended up making a red pepper quiche, inspired by the red pepper and walnut dip, muhummara, a Syrian/Arabic dish. I first tried muhummara at Arabica Bar and Kitchen in Borough market and I fell in love, the red peppers pair so perfectly with the deeply earthy walnuts. I decided I wanted this flavour to be the filling of my quiche.
Pairing it with a sweet potato crust, was half accident, half inspired genius. I always struggle to bake with gluten free flour, especially when I don't have Alice on hand to give me good advice, so it was really just an attempt to get out of doing any real baking. And my lazy hack, ended up tasting friggin delicious!
I used a tart dish with a removable base, I found this really worked well so that I didn't have to spend hours figuring how to get the quiche out of it's casing. Mine was an 8.8 inch dish. I would recommend using one of a similar size so the quantities in this recipe work, if you go larger you may have to up the amount of sweet potato and peppers. You can find a similar one here!
So there we have it a summer dish in winter, from a mixed up plant and a mixed up girl! Makes perfect sense.
I also have some other news to update you all on! Firstly I'm off on holiday next week! YAY! I'm headed to Haarlem, just outside of Amsterdam for the first three days, and then onto Paris where I will be spending my birthday. If anyone has any recommendations of places to eat, cool things to see/do in Haarlem, Amsterdam or Paris please let me know.I will try to take some snaps while I'm away and share on Facebook and Instagram, but honestly first and for most I'm there to have a good time and relax.
Secondly I will be displaying a written piece of work, accompanied by art work by Divya Scialo, at Tis The Season To be Mindful. An event bringing together musicians, performers, poets, artists and writers, to raise money for MQ, a charity supporting vital research into mental health. The event is being held at Off the Cuff in Herne Hill, on the 13th December, from 5pm-12am. I would love to enjoy the evening with as many of my lovely blog supporters as possible, so if you have time, and find yourself in the Herne Hill neck of the woods, please drop in. You will undoubtedly experience some beautiful, thought provoking, honest art and be supporting an amazing cause.
I think that's about everything on the updates, so back to the quiche recipe cos I know that's what your really here for!
Makes 1 8.8 inch quiche
For the crust
2 medium sized sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons vegan butter
1 flax egg - 1 tablespoon flax seeds
- 3 tablespoons water
For the filling
200g mix of red and green peppers
100g red peppers
1 block of tofu
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1) Peel and grate the sweet potato.
2) Once the sweet potato is grated, place some salt on it and leave for 5 minutes so the salt draws out more of the moisture, After 5 minutes squeeze the sweet potato dry.
3) Place the flax seeds in a small cup and cover with the water. Set aside for five minutes, until the flax seeds have absorbed the water. Meanwhile melt the butter. Add the melted butter and flax egg to the sweet potato and mix.
4) Line a tart dish with butter. Place the sweet potato mix into the dish and push firmly into the sides. You want a fairly thick base, as the sweet potato will shrink as you cook it.
5) Place the crust into the fridge for half an hour.
6)Meanwhile cut all the peppers into bite sized chunks and place onto a tray. Add a little olive oil and place into the oven at 200'c , for 15-20 minutes or until the peppers are browning at the edges.
5) Remove the crust from the fridge and place into the oven at 200'c, for 25 minutes, until the crust is the edges are browning.
6) Place the tofu, garlic, walnuts, tomato, spices, and 100g of red peppers into a blender. Blend until smooth.
7) Once the filling mix is blended, take the remaining peppers and mix into the filling mix.
8) Remove the crust from the oven. Place the filling into the middle and smooth out with your fingers.
9) Cover the quiche in tin foil and place into the oven at 200'c for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove from the oven and remove the tin foil, and place back into the oven for 5 minutes, until the filling is has darkened.
10) Remove from the oven and remove the quiche from the tart tin, and place onto a cooling rack for the best results. Slice and enjoy!