Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash Quiche

I never follow a recipe when making quiche. I usually just make them up at the spur of the moment - as was the case with this butternut squash quiche that turned out to be one of the the most delicious ones I've ever made.

Take care not to overdo the dried herbs that I add to this recipe as it can easily overpower the whole thing.

I used nothing but wholegrain spelt flour for the pastry, and what a winner that was. It gave the pastry a wonderfully nutty taste. I actually got hold of this organic stoneground flour in a supermarket. If you can’t find something like it in a supermarket near you, try a health food shop.

I stuck to my usual pastry measures and resisted adding any more flour even though the dough was a little sticky. It was still easy to press it out and up the sides of my pie dish.

Use a heaped tablespoon of the cottage cheese in this recipe for the pastry.

Butternut squash quiche for 6 people:

For the pastry recipe, click on Pastry For Quiche

A small butternut squash, about 700g, 1½lb, 3 cups peeled, halved, deseeded and cut into bite-size pieces.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion, peeled, quartered and each quarter finely sliced

1 red pepper (bell pepper), halved and sliced

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 eggs, preferably organic or at least free-range

300g, 10½, 1¼ cups, cottage cheese

½ teaspoon mixed dry herbs

Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Make the pastry for the quiche. Push it out with your fingers into your pie dish and place it in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

2. Toss the butternut squash pieces with the olive oil and spread them out in a roasting tray and sprinkle some salt on top. Place the tray in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes – stir midway through - until tender. Set aside.

3. While the butternut squash is roasting, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan and fry the red onion over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and a little bit of salt and fry for another minute. Add the sliced red pepper (bell pepper) to the frying pan and fry for a further minute. Set aside.

4. Take out the pie dish from the fridge, prick the bottom with a fork, cover with baking parchment and add whatever baking beans you are using. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

5. Take out the pie dish and carefully remove the baking parchment and the baking beans. If the sides have collapsed a bit, then take a teaspoon and gently press the back of the spoon all around the edge of the pie dish to make the sides rise more. Return the pie dish to the oven for another 5-7 minutes until the pastry starts to brown and the bottom of the pastry is properly baked through and dry. Take it out of the oven.

6. Mix together eggs, the rest of the cottage cheese, the dry mixed herbs and season with salt and pepper.

7. Mix together the butternut squash, red onion and red pepper. When the pastry case is ready, add this mix to the pastry case and pour over the egg and cottage cheese mix. Return the pie dish to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until the top of this butternut squash quiche starts to brown a little.

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