RECIPE: Spring Filo Quiche & Fresh Pickle Salad

bella's-birthday-quiche

It was a beautiful spring day, perfect to celebrate the birthday of my lovely lady.  I had bubbles on ice and strawberries galore. My idea was to bake some handy filo asparagus quiches and a fresh pickled yellow beetroot, asparagus and dill salad to take on an idyllic picnic to celebrate the wondrous occasion.

I had sourced some precious yellow beetroot (sweeter and less earthy than its red cousin), new season asparagus and a nice pot plant of dill. I also had some free-range manuka smoked streaky bacon and eggs in my duffle bag. Not to mention the chocolate almond cake covered in strawberries I was planning to make – but that’s another story.

Unfortunately, the weather had different ideas for my idyllic picnic. As I was frying the bacon off for my filo quiches the weather turned. Suddenly I heard a loud crack of thunder and a low rumbling that felt like an earthquake. My pot plant of dill disappeared out of the window that was open barely a crack. Everything on the kitchen bench lay scattered all over the place – whipped about by what I can onlydescribe as a tornado that ripped through the window.

On my front lawn lay a large branch of oak from a tree about 2km away. As I walked out of my front door fire trucks and policemen started arriving on the scene. A roof from a home four houses down lay caught in the power lines. There was a broken trampoline on the sidewalk carried from a backyard hundreds of meters away. Debris lay everywhere (click on the link to see images of the damage). Suffice to say my picnic plans were in tatters – literally. We ended up eating our lovely little birthday picnic at home. But at least I can safely say that this recipe swept us off our feet!

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Ingredients (Serves 3):

Filo Quiche:

  • 6 sheets filo pastry
  • 4 eggs
  • 100ml milk
  • 6 rashers of streaky bacon
  • 6 asparagus spears
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 20g blue cheese
  • dill
  • pepper

Fresh Pickled Beetroot Salad:

  • 3 medium yellow beetroots (can use red ones too)
  • 6 asparagus spears
  • 30g blue cheese
  • 4 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • dill
  • ev olive oil
  • salt and pepper

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Method:

Filo Quiche:

Whisk up the eggs and milk and season with liberally with pepper (bacon and blue cheese provide the salt). Fry the streaky bacon until golden and crispy add chopped garlic for the last 2 minutes. Chop the bacon into small pieces and leave to cool. Take out a muffin tin and butter. Fold the 6 filo sheets in half 3 times each and stuff into the muffin tray so that the filo lines each muffin hole with four corners sticking out. Pour the eg mixture into the filo lined muffin tins until 3/4 full. Drop in some bacon pieces (1 rasher worth – streaky bacon slices tend to be quite small if you are using another cut you probably want to put less than a rasher) and a little blob (approx 10g) of blue cheese. If you don’t like blue cheese, goats cheese would work well or even possibly better. Also stick to halves of an asparagus spear into the quiche. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the quiche to cover the film. Bake the tarts in a pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes at 180°C or until the egg has not wobble left and the filo is golden brown. Adjust the temperature in your oven down if the filo looks cooked before the egg. Egg will cook at 60°C so you can always leave them in the oven on a very low temperature if you are unsure. Garnish with a sprig of dill.

Fresh Pickled Beetroot Salad:

Slice the beetroot as thinly as possible and cut the asparagus in half and then into half or quarters (lengthwise). And put into a pot with the vinegar, sugar and sprinkle in some salt. Boil the beetroot and asparagus in the pickling liquid for about 2 minutes, stirring regularly. You want the beetroot to be barely cooked with a lot of bite still to it. Leave the freshly pickled beetroot and asparagus to cool. Add chopped dill, some blue cheese and a sprinkling of extra virgin olive oil to serve.

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