On Saturday afternoon my lovely friend Chris was having a right-this-is-it-I’m-going-to-live-in-the-rainforest-in-Brazil-and-I’m-never-coming-back picnic in Preston Park. (conveniently just across the road from my flat.) I decided to take along a quiche as it’s always a picnic favourite. This one’s nice and easy to make and is suitably tasty to get nice compliments.
I made this in a 20cm, ceramic flan dish, and, I have to confess, I used shop-bought pastry. Generally speaking I think that life’s too short to make your own pastry.
Enough shortcrust pastry to line a 20cm flan dish
½ a medium sized butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm cubes
3 tablespoons of olive oil for drizzling
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
4 spring onions, sliced
75g of peas
75g of soft goat’s cheese
4 cherry tomatoes
Leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of mixed herbs
2 tablespoons of ricotta
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200
Pop the cubes of squash on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Turn once during cooking to avoid burning.
Roll out the pastry to 5mm thickness and line the flan dish. Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, Then remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes until dry and turning golden.
Line the pastry case with the roasted squash cubes, peas and spring onion. Scatter over the chilli and thyme leaves.
Scatter around ½ teaspoon-sized dollops of goats cheese.
Lightly beat the four eggs and whisk in the ricotta cheese, mixed herbs and salt and pepper.
Pour the egg mixture into the pastry case.
Push the cherry tomatoes, evenly spaced into the egg mixture.
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until cooked and golden.