Labels: Lunch, Supper, Vegetarian
Ever buy carrots or radishes (or beets), with the tops still on them? And then you throw the leaves out, because you don't have a pet rabbit? Did you know there's tons of nutrients hiding in those leaves? That they're not poisonous? That you can eat them, and have them be good for you? And that they can even taste good, if you know how to make them that way? Yuppers on all of that.
This recipe will show you one delicious way to use your fresh carrots, radishes, beets, etc. to the max, without wasting a bit, and boosting your health to boot. In no way does this quiche taste "healthy", though! Because it's quite delish. Even my four year old grandaughter loved this quiche. And trust me, there ain't nothing and no one pickier in the world than this four year old.
1 c flour
1/4 c good vegetable oil
carrot tops (leaves from one bunch of carrots)
radish leaves (leaves from one or two bunches of radishes or beets, etc)
This one's easy. Mix 1c flour (preferably white pastry) with a pinch of salt and about a teaspoon or two of sugar. Add about 1/4c good quality vegetable or olive oil, mix. Now add just enough cold water to help combine the mixture; only a couple of tablespoons or so. You want a firm and relatively dry mixture, not a mushy wet one. Finally, I like to knead this a bit (inside of a large bowl), ie. a few times, so that it stays together when lining the pie plate.
You can if you wish grease up the pie plate with a tiny bit of oil, but its usually not necessary, given the oil in the crust. You also have the option of rolling the dough out before lining the pie plate with it. But this too is not necessary. You can simply mash the dough against the bottom of the plate (with a closed fist), and smush it out and up the sides. Then finish the crust by pinching around the rim of the pie plate, or flatting it with the tines of a fork. (I prefer the pinch method, as flattening can make the crust difficult to remove from the plate). You can poke holes at the bottom with a small knife or fork if you wish, to prevent air pockets. (If you use organic sifted pastry flour as I did, the dough may be too dense to worry about this).
Cook the pie crust at 375F for about 10-15 minutes, until it is dry. Remove from oven.
For the carrot and radish greens, you will need to cook them in advance, to remove bitter flavors.
Carrot Tops: Chop the carrot tops off the carrots, then rinse well (many times) in a bowl/colander of cold water. Finally chop the leaves finely. Chop and mash a large clove of garlic, with salt (see article on how to chop garlic, on this blog). Next, blanche the leaves in a pot of boiling water, with just enough water to cover the leaves by a few centimetres. After the water starts to reduce, add the garlic and a bit of salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until water is nearly evaporated, stirring often.
Radish Leaves: The preparation will be similar to the carrot leaves, but without the blanching stage. n.b. Radish leaves are especially 'sandy', so should be rinsed in several changes of water, ensuring no dirt remains in the bowl of water, when rinsing out. Once rinsed, chop the leaves into pieces, and place the drained but still wet leaves in a heated pan that has olive oil and butter. Fry the leaves on a moderate heat, along with mashed garlic (as described above), adding s&p to taste, until they are cooked down to the consistency of spinach.
Basil leaves: I added some fresh basil to my quiche, as well, to compliment the tomatoes. You only need to rinse and chop the basil, before adding to the egg mixture.
Tomatoes: These just need to be sliced.
Combining the mixture: Beat the 4 eggs in a large bowl until combined, add about 1/4t - 1/2t salt (depending on how much salt you added to the carrot and radish leaves). Add the fresh basil and sauteed carrot and radish leaves (and optionally, add some more salted mashed garlic, as I did). Add a bit of water to bring the liquid mixture to just about or just above 4 cups of liquid (beat the mixture again, after adding the water). Pour the liquid mixture into the pre-baked pie crust, until it is just below the rim. Use a fork to spread the greens around, distributing them evenly. Top with numerous (thin) slices of fresh tomato, until the top is covered with tomato slices. Top that with enough grated cheese to completely cover the top of the quiche (about 1 1/2" from a 400g block of cheese, or 1/2c - 1c). Top that with a generous sprinkling of paprika, across the top of the quiche.
Bake at 375F for about 40 minutes. (Check with a toothpick in the centre, to see if it comes out cleanly).