So awhile back I made a recipe that I called an “odds and ends” casserole, which was basically a way to make a decent casserole with a couple basic things and whatever is in your fridge. This is basically the same thing, but in the form of a quiche. In principle, it’s “roast a bunch of veggies, sautee an onion, and stick them in a pie crust with some cheese, milk and eggs.” And done. Here’s the basic recipe that I made, but again, you can modify the veggies or cheese based on what you like/have in your fridge.
1 Pie crust
1 orange bell pepper, sliced
1/2 zucchini, chopped in large chunks
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 leek, thinly sliced
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2-3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1-2 ounces shredded hard, strong cheese
Toss the bell pepper in some olive oil and salt and stick it in the oven at 400. After 10 minutes, add the zucchini. Stir every 10 minutes or so, and pull them out when they are at the desired level of roasted – probably like 25-30 minutes. While the veggies are roasting, heat oil in a large pan and sautee the onions, until translucent. Add the leeks and keep sautéing at a lower heat until the onions are golden brown, or, if you’re impatient, at least very soft. The longer everything cooks, the sweeter it will be. Once the veggies are done, stick a layer of onions in a pie-crust-lined dish. Then the layer of roasted veggies. Then dot the veggies with teaspoons of the ricotta and the tomatoes. Scatter the hard cheese over it. Beat the egg and milk together, and pour in the dish. Bake at 375 for 30-ish minutes.
So I really liked this recipe. Particularly, I liked that it was a ton of veggies, and not a lot of egg and milk, and that the veggies were sweet. And that it’s versatile. However, the thing I didn’t love was that moving the onions and veggies from the pan into the pie plate also involved getting a lot of olive oil in there. Which…made the bottom crust soggy. I didn’t mind it for me (in fact I’ve eaten the quiche almost every day this week), but I’d be mortified to serve it to someone like that. So, beware of too much liquid! But really, it’s made a great lunch, and also a great breakfast. Song of the week:Sorry by Postmodern Jukebox. Yes! the re-emergence of Postmodern Jukebox, which I still love. No real reason for this song, other than nothing stuck me this week and I happen to be listening to it right now.
Seriously, the weather in DC has been gorgeous for the last week or two. Warm, sunny but without the humidity that makes you die a little that happens in the summer. So I wanted to celebrate the sunshine a bit and have a sunshine-y meal. Naturally, this meant lots of yellow. I was considering lemon cupcakes, but instead I decided to make a casserole. So – I used yellow as my base – polenta – and yellow as my main veggie – yellow bell pepper. The result was very pretty.
Sunshine Polenta Casserole
3/4 cup polenta
2 1/4 cup water
1/3 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1/3 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
gouda cheese, grated
Boil the water with some salt. Add the polenta and boil, stirring constantly, making sure to get rid of any lumps that formed. Cook until soft and no longer grainy. Spread in a casserole dish and set aside. Toss the onion, bell pepper, and garlic with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the mixture on top of the polenta. Then add the dried basil and the grated cheese. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes or until it starts turning golden. Serve warm.
Oh this was soo good. Fairly simple and easy to throw together, and the flavors all mesh well together. It tastes a little sweet and I think it is very sunshine-y, which of course was the goal. I had this with a Malbec-Syrah blend from Argentina. It might not be cold yet, but I’ve switched to red wine from white. Song of the week: Sunshine Superman by Donovan. I love Donovan; even though his quality is uneven at best his good stuff is gold. This isn’t actually my favorite Donovan song, but it seems particularly apt for the week.
The adventures with bell peppers continue… Actually, this week I wanted to make carrot-ginger soup. It’s cold and gross out and soup seemed appealing. Unfortunately, I don’t have a blender, or food processor so, I had to go for plan B, more bell peppers. Actually, last week I found this amazing looking recipe called Mechwiya, which is a North African roasted bell pepper salad/relish thing. I seemed like a good idea, but not a meal in it of itself so, clearly, the only logical thing to do was stick it in a filo turnover. Because everything is awesome baked in filo dough.
1 1/2 – 2 red bell peppers, roasted
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 tsp cumin
juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 sheets filo dough
Roast the bell peppers at 400 until soft. Mix the cumin, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix together. Once the bell pepper is cool, chop into small pieces and add it to the other ingredients with the olive oil. Mix and let it sit and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Once the filling has marinated, take one sheet of filo dough and fold it into thirds lengthwise. Brush that sheet with melted butter or more olive oil (I always use butter because, well, butter is awesome), Place some of the filling in the bottom of the filo, and fold it up like a flag. Brush the top and any ends of dough sticking out with butter. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 until the filo is lightly brown. Also you should probably poke holes in the filo to let steam out before you bake it, but the world won’t end it you forget.
Oh my god it was so good. I had some of the remnants of the salad by itself, but in the filo, it was insane. Most things I make are really good, but this was a 10. No futzing, nothing added necessary, it was just freaking amazing. I had it with a side of Carrottes d’Afrique du Nord and served it with a Belgian tripel. Mostly because I like tripels, but I think white wine would work too. The recipe is very citrus-y and that goes better with whites than reds. Song of the week: Don’t think twice, it’s Alright by Bob Dylan. One of my all time favorite Dylan songs. There are a million covers of this song, and I listen to different versions based on my mood, but its good to start with Dylan’s original version. It’s melancholy and beautiful and everyone can relate to it.