My friend, Laura, let me look through her new cookbook, Fresh and Light by Donna Hay and I was so impressed with the recipes and her style. It was her recipe for polenta crust tomato tart that inspired me to create this wonderfully flavorful and creamy quiche with roasted tomatoes, cheese and pesto.
Quiche is a dish that can be served as a meal at any time, even snacks and appetizers. If you have leftovers they can be frozen and still taste fresh-baked when re-heated. That is if you have any leftover at all. Quiche is such a versatile dish that you only need a few basic ingredients plus your imagination to create something wonderful.
Earlier today I harvested the oregano in my little herb garden and chopped half of it up, put it in an ice cube tray, covered it with olive oil and froze it. With the other half of the oregano, I made oregano pesto from Dahn’s Pesto recipe, and I used some in the quiche.
When I made the oregano pesto I was sure that it would be pretty powerful but I was really surprised to find it to be quite pleasant. The pesto is spread over the bottom of the baked polenta crust and gives the quiche an additional layer of flavor.
The creamy filling is made with eggs, low-fat cream cheese and goat cheese which is poured over the polenta crust. Finally, the roasted tomatoes are arranged on the top and the whole concoction is sprinkled with parmesan cheese and baked.
I am planing to serve this as a light summer evening meal along with an arugula salad.
- 4 Roma tomatoes, tops and bottoms trimmed and cut into 8 thick slices
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- cracked black pepper
- 2-1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup medium or course grind cornmeal
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup pesto made with oregano, or 2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano
- 2-8 ounce each packages reduced-fat cream cheese
- 6 ounces soft goat cheese
- 6 eggs
- ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°F
- Place the eight tomato slices on a baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Drizzle the olive oil on them and add two sprigs of thyme to each of them. Sprinkle each one with salt and freshly ground pepper. Transfer the baking pan to the oven and roast the tomatoes for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking pan.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the cornmeal in a gradual stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, whisking frequently, for about 15-20 minutes until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan into a firm, sticky mass. Let cool to the touch.
- Grease a 9 inch, 2 inches deep quiche pan with a removable base and press the polenta mixture into it and up the sides. You will need a small dish of water sitting near to dip your fingers in as it helps to press the sticky mixture. Prepare the crust for a blind-bake with parchment paper and pie weights, beans or rice. Place the quiche pan onto a baking sheet and transfer to the middle rack of the oven. Bake the crust in the 400°F oven for 15-20 minutes until crispy on the edges. When cool, spread the pesto or snipped oregano over the bottom of the crust and reserve it while you prepare the filling.
- Reduce the oven temp to 375°F
- Add the cream cheese, the goat cheese and the eggs to the food processor and process until smooth. Pour the mixture into the reserved crust, sprinkle with the grated parmesan and arrange the roasted tomatoes on top. Cover the top of the quiche loosely with foil to prevent it from browning too quickly. Transfer the baking sheet with the quiche on it to the middle rack of the oven and bake 60 minutes, remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes or until the filling is set but jiggles a little in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.
- To serve:
- Loosen the quiche from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Carefully un-mold the ring, and transfer the quiche (with the bottom base) to a serving plate. Cut it into wedges, and serve.