Winter Quiche

Typically, quiche is a lightweight summer dish, often served cold for lunch, or as part of a picnic.

Classic Quiche Lorraine contains just cream, eggs and bacon in a pastry crust. From there we can include cheese, mushrooms, and any of a variety of meat and vegetable ingredients.

Sometimes, for a supposedly "self-crusting" quiche, flour is added to the mix, but these are not always as tidy as I'd like, so I use a pastry crust anyhow. Sometimes, sour cream or oil is used instead of cream, as in this recipe.

This one employs vegetables that are common - and cheap - in winter, such as pumpkin, kumara, choko, celery, and I serve it hot.

Yes! This is an acceptable use for chokos, if you have them. I am not kidding. They are not necessary, however, and in a summer version I would likely replace them with courgettes, or even marrows. They are bulk filling. Failing choko, just double the kumara/pumpkin amount.

Let's go....

You will need:

1 standard square savoury short pastry

1 square flan or pie dish

3 eggs

1 heaped teaspoon Garlic Paste or chopped garlic

1 medium Onion, chopped

2 sticks of celery, chopped to 1cm dice

2-3 sprigs Parsley

1 Choko, peeled, quartered and diced - about 1-2 cm

250g Kumara or Pumpkin, similarly diced

1 rasher Bacon, cut in 2cm squares

250g Pork or Chicken, diced about 2cm

3/4 cup of grated Cheese

70g Olive Oil (or Grapeseed Oil)

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder.

1/2 handful of grated Parmesan for topping

Salt and Pepper to taste


Dry fry the chicken/pork and bacon over medium heat until cooked. Set aside.

Lightly grease the pie dish with butter and dust with flour. Even with non-stick pans this is a good idea. Line with pastry. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Steam the diced pumpkin/kumara, celery, onion and choko until nearly cooked but still firm. Set aside.

In a largish bowl, put the eggs, garlic, parsley, oil, salt, pepper and baking powder and apply blender until well mixed.

Add the meat, steamed vegetables, cheese, and flour and stir until combined.

Scrape into lined pie dish and smooth the top before sprinkling parmesan over it. Place in oven at 180C and set timer for 45 minutes.



Gardening notes for chokos: Plant near a fence, warn the neighbours and stand back. Especially in frost free areas, even a single vine will produce up to 30-40 kg of tasteless firm green vegetable bulk, which will store for at least a couple of months over winter.

Frequently, these stored fruit will germinate, and generate roots and shoots, and can be kept inside until the danger of frost is over, then planted in a generously fertilised deeply dug spot in the garden, with just the shoot showing above the ground. They will typically die down with the first frost and regrow each spring provided the roots are well mulched.

They have traditionally defied all efforts to render them palatable, but the sheer quantity of the harvest has made them a fallback for poorer families facing hard times. In fact, they have a higher nutritional content than celery, and I use the strongly flavoured "cutting celery" to provide any taste that is necessary.






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