Back in 1985, real men did not eat quiche. I am unsure what defined at the time a real man as opposed to a non-real one. Was it based on his social class, his appearance, his job or his sense of style? Whatever is was, a seemingly feminine, unfulfilling dish that appeared only 20 years earlier from France did not seem to fit the requirements of the time.
Almost 30 years on, looking at quiche with an anthropological eye gives an interesting perspective on changing food habits during that time. Over the years new recipes and ingredients have transformed the original quiche Lorraine so dear to French hearts. Changing attitudes to nutrition and health and a demographic shift to less manual workforce have equally played their part.
Quiche is comforting, versatile and easily adapted to different food requirements. Beatrice Peltre from La Tartine Gourmande shares terrific gluten-free quiche recipes on her blog. So versatile in fact that it is a food of choice for riders of the Tour de France, providing a welcome change from the usual sports foods they find in their musettes.
Quiche is incredibly photogenic. Round, sliced, whole, bright colours, this dish offers many variations for the creative photographer and food stylist. Photographed in the 80’s and 90’s in dark and rich colours to enhance the opulence of the ingredients, quiche is now styled in a cleaner and more minimalist way, lending it a sense of casualness and versatility.
This recipe may not be one that would have appealed to real men from the 80′s. But for the metrosexual ones (and professional cyclists) from this decade, it think it does. Served with a side salad drizzled with a citrusy dressing and a glass of crisp white wine, it makes the perfect lunch.
Spinach and dill quiche
Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a light lunch
Pastry crust (inspired by La Tartine Gourmande)
12og (1 cup) plain flour
40g (1/3 cup) brown rice flour
Pinch of salt
3 tbs flax seed (optional) or poppyseeds
90g unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg, free-range
2 to 3 tbs cold water (you may need more or less)
Small handful of fine semolina or polenta
Garnish (inspired by Delicious Magazine, July 2012 issue)
2 eggs, free-range
150cl double cream
Pinch of grated nutmeg
250g spinach, chopped
Large handful of emmenthal, grated (gruyere also works)
3 tbs chopped fresh dill
Start with the crust. Line a pastry case with greased paper.
In a large bowl, combine the plain flour, brown rice flour, salt and flax seeds.
Add the butter. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or working by hand, work until crumbles form. Do not overmix.
Add the egg and work until it all comes together.
Add the cold water, a little at a time until the dough detached from the bowl. Here as well, do not overmix.
Roll the dough in the pastry case and place in the fridge to rest for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/ gas 4.
For the garnish, place the eggs, cream and nutmeg in a bowl. Mix till combined.
Add the chopped spinach, emmenthal, dill and S&P. Mix well.
Scatter the fine semolina over the pastry crust. It will absorb some of the moisture from the garnish and keep the pastry crusty.
Pour the mixture into the pastry case and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
Serve with a crunchy salad.
Vous ne lisez pas la langue de Shakespeare mais salivez à l’idée de faire cette recette? Emailez moi avec le titre de la recette et dans les quelques jours qui suivront, magique, la recette vous sera traduite en français.