Monday, April 19, 2010

Fennel and Artichoke Quiche

Before I can get to the serious business of blogging, I have two points of order. First and foremost, please bear with some my pics which are, obviously, even worse than usual. C had an incident with the digital camera, and I'm forced to document food with the camera in my phone. On the bright side, we just bought a new digital camera, so as soon as I master its idiosyncrasies, vegan squared should be better than ever. Secondly, the gorgeous and vivacious Bianca over at Vegan Crunk is giving away two copies of American Vegan Kitchen. Leave her a comment about your favorite comfort food, and she'll enter you in the drawing. Find it here.

The inspiration for this quiche was generated by a perfect storm of too much tofu lying around (because I got a little too enthusiastic when I saw it on sale) and a can of artichoke hearts that had been languishing in the cupboard. I suppose I'm also still coming off my frittata high. Though the frittata and the quiche are very similar animals, I tend to treat them quite differently in terms of fillings. There is also that matter of the deliciously carby crust that tenderly holds the seasoned tofu with the quiche. I'm also a big fan of meals that, once prepared, last at least two nights. With fatties like C and I around, that's really the most we can hope for out of even the most generously-sized recipes. To my horror and shame, there's a pot pie recipe in the Veganomicon that is supposed to serve 6, but which we devour in a single sitting with a consistency both terrifying and slightly nauseating. You, dear reader, exercise more restraint, I'm sure of it.

Should you find yourself similarly situated, with a bit too much tofu and some odd ingredients, try a quiche. The seasonings are very flexible, of course. The following recipe is the result of years of tweaking to one on vegweb. I probably should, but am not going to, comb through the quiche recipes for the one most similar. Suffice it to say that how I make it now is substantially different. And aren't all new recipes basically riffs on other, existing recipes? I feel like there must be some rule of thumb to determine how much you have to change a recipe before it spontaneously becomes new again. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter if you're willing to share them.

Also, please note that the way we pronounce this isn't actually keesh, but quitch. That's the way my adorable niece used to say it, and that's the way I still say it. Her cuteness conquers correctness.

Fennel and Artichoke Quiche

First, make the crust:

2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 c canola oil
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 c water

Preheat oven to 400. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt. Mix the wet ingredients separately, then add to the flour. Stir to combine, but be careful not to over mix. Turn into a pie pan and press into place. Prick the sides and bottom with a fork and bake for 10-12 minutes.

While the crust is baking, prepare your filling:

1 lb firm or extra firm tofu
1/4 c nutritional yeast
1/2 c non-dairy milk
1 t turmeric
black pepper
black salt
1 medium head of fennel, sliced
1 can artichoke hearts
olive oil

Transfer the fennel to a baking sheet, and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Roast at 400 for 30 minutes, stirring every ten minutes and watching for burning.

In a large bowl, crumble the tofu with your hands. Then, using a strong fork, combine the tofu with the milk, yeast, and turmeric. Add a bit more turmeric if needed to achieve the desired degree of yellowness. If you really just don't care whether your quiche is yellow or closer to white, feel free to leave the turmeric out altogether. Mostly likely, nobody will care. Fold in the artichoke hearts and roasted fennel.

Press the filling into the baked pie crust. It will be quite full, so you'll want to create a sort of mounded look. Don't worry, it will cook just fine. Bake in a 350 oven for 45 minutes.

As with the frittata, a quiche will perform much better if you make it ahead of time, allow it cool, and then reheat it. Performance, when it comes to such things, is really just a matter of holding it together. You don't want your quiche quiching all over the plate. You want it to stand up and be proud of it's quicheness. It's not just for girls, after all. We were having a late dinner, so I baked my quiche, let it sit for a few hours, then topped it with some Daiya cheese and slid it under the broiler for just a few minutes to warm up and melt the cheese. I suggest you do the same.


b3carmain said...

My husband called, while driving to the golf course this afternoon, to tell me that he is NOT working tonight, surprise! Yay! So, we are going to hit the quiche said quitch! I so love that particular niece! Infact, to be fair, I love all the niecphews. Equally, depsite MUCH conjecture....!!
Vegan Squared ROCKS!

b3carmain said...

We did indeed hit the quitch last night. My main man's response was an OVERWHELMING scraping of fork on plate through TWO heaping servings. While beginning to discuss the recipe he put his hands up and said he didn't want to know. (He has issues with nutritional yeast, yeast in general. Yes, he eats bagels every morning. I KNOW.) I think the quitch is amazingly delicious and plan to make it for some non-vegan, non-veggie friends as soon as possible!
I didn't have canned hearts so I used frozen which I had. I didn't have a solid 16 oz of one type of tofu so had use extra firm regular and some silken tofu. I didn't have the yellow-er. Result: AMAZING!
Having spoken to the "quitch" niece, who was VERY thrilled to be so credited in your blog, I believe that all future quiches should be called quitches. Seems only proper to us!
Vegan Squared ROCKS!!!!!!

Marla said...

Hurray! So glad you guys enjoyed it! And yes, Amanda should get all credit for the quitch, which should be called that for the rest of time. Or until we're all dead, whichever comes first.