Most recipes on this blog come with a little story on the side. It simply helps me to introduce a dish when I have some kind of anecdote to tell, something funny, exiting, or even better something heartwarming about a recipe or its prominent ingredient, a feeling linked, a special moment attached, coming to mind whenever I cook it. But broccoli? Oh, broccoli, you leave me speechless. You´re the kind of vegetable I rarely crave yet cook often, my winter weeknight staple, not at all exiting but then again quite delicious when done right. I mostly buy you for no other reason than that my kids like you – but exactly for that reason, I buy you all the time … though I do so, well – how can I put this – with a shrug. Do you mind me?
For I know that´s not fair. I even guess that being a reliable player is more than enough to deserve some attention, if not for outstanding performance, then for persistence (and weeknights are all about persistence, right?). Persistence is an underrated virtue, and true, you never let me down.
So let me talk about this savory tart I´ve made with you quite often lately. You play a lovely role in that recipe, don´t you think? I won´t pretend it helps enforce your stardom – it´s not a spectacular, mind blowing recipe, and you´re not a star performer after all, let´s face it. But you work surprisingly well with the hearty roquefort, creating a mix of flavors so powerful one doesn´t realize this quiche is vegetarian in the first place. Those big, green florets of yours stay so beautifully al dente on the stalky end while getting a nice roasted crisp at the other, where they cheekily peek over that fluffy blanket of eggs & cream with your curly coiffure – scrumptious! The crumbled cheese spreads its aroma throughout, with little islands of salty blue-cheesiness here and there. And finally, that crust: it´s the kind of flaky, buttery goodness I honestly – again, no offense – would prefer to eat solo, without anything.
And I do, at least when I feel unobserved. But no fear, I don´t.
This quiche is for sure not the best or most exciting dish I´ve ever tasted, but it´s a really delicious meal for a wintery weeknight, quick to throw together (at least when using a package of puff pastry instead of making the dough yourself), therefore returning to our table in regular intervals. And in a family of steak loving carnivores, that´s not so bad, right?
All credits to you, broccoli.
Broccoli & roquefort quiche (for 1 small tart):
250 g AP flour
125 g unsalted cold butter, cubed
5 g fine salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 large egg yolk
2-3 tbsp cold water
To make the pastry, combine all ingredients except water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix at low speed until you obtain a fine crumble. Add 1 or tbsp water, perhaps a bit more until a homogenous dough comes together. Shape a disc, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 5 days. (You will have some leftover pastry – why not make savory cookies, brushed with egg yolk and sprinkled with parmesan or sesame seeds ?)
approx. 200 g broccoli (6 or 7 large florets)
3 medium eggs
100 g crème fraîche or full fat cream
50 g Roquefort cheese, finely crumbled (or 75g, if you like it strong)
a pinch of ground nutmeg
a small pinch of salt, but only if your cheese is on the mild side
In a medium pot with lightly salted water, blanch broccoli florets, for 2-3 minutes – they should remain quite crunchy. Drain with cold water and set aside.
Grease and/or line a 18-20 cm springform or tart pan with parchment paper, line with the rolled out dough. Prick with a fork several times and place in the fridge.
Preheat oven 200 °C/400 °F.
Blind bake the crust for a few minutes, about 8-10 min, using oven proof weights (I have a second tart pan slightly smaller in diameter than the one I use for this quiche – works fine). To do so, cover pastry with a sheet of parchment paper, place your weights on top and bake.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the eggs with cream or crème fraîche, pepper (salt if using), and nutmeg. Finely crumble the roquefort cheese.
Spread half the cheese onto the bottom of the tart, arrange well drained broccoli florets, pour the egg and cream mixture and finish off with the rest of the cheese.
Bake for a further 35 minutes approx., until golden. Brown under the ofen grill for the last minute or so, perhaps covering the broccoli parts with tin foil so they don´t burn.