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    Spinach, Herb and Halloumi Quiche

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    Spinach, Herb and Halloumi Quiche

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes to 40 minutes
    • Total time: 45 minutes to 55 minutes 55 minutes

    Serves: 4 - 6


    • Basic egg filling
    • 2 medium eggs, plus 1 medium egg yolk
    • 142ml carton double cream
    • 142ml whole milk
    • 1 quiche pastry case
    • Main filling
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 500g spinach
    • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
    • 1 tsp chopped thyme
    • Squeeze of lemon juice
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 125g Halloumi cheese, cubed


    1. This egg filling can be used for any quiche, along with a main filling. As a rule, the pastry case should be almost brim-full before you pour on the egg, or you'll end up with an underfilled tart. If you have a lower volume of main filling (if you're just using bacon and herbs, say), increase the egg-filling quantities, keeping the same ratios. If you're not sure how much egg filling you need, beat 1 egg yolk with 50ml milk and 50ml cream and add to the tart; repeat till the tart is full.
    2. Prepare a pastry case. While the pastry is chilling, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion and sauté gently for about 12 minutes until soft. Meanwhile, drop the spinach into a large pan of boiling water. Drain almost immediately, as soon as it wilts, and leave in a colander to cool. When cool enough to handle, squeeze it in your hands to expel as much moisture as possible, then chop fairly finely and put in a large mixing bowl. Add the onions and chopped herbs and mix well. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, season well and set aside.
    3. Spread the spinach mixture in the pastry case. Dot the Halloumi over it. Beat the eggs lightly, then add the cream. Use the cream carton to measure out 142ml milk, add this too and beat together. Pour over the filling, return to the oven (still at 180˚C, gas mark 4 from the pastry) and cook for 30-40 minutes or until the filling looks puffy, golden and set. Serve warm or cold .

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    One of the finest incarnations of quiche is an onion tart: finely slice 500g onions and sauté in olive oil, with a pinch of salt, for at least 20 minutes, until golden and caramelised. Spread in the pastry case, cover with grated cheese if you like, then pour on the egg filling and bake.

    Both the French and the English have an intriguing tradition of serving spinach in a sweet custard tart; it was a vibrant dish for winter, when fresh fruit was unavailable. See Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book (Penguin; £16) for a simple recipe.

    To make a tart with wholemeal pastry, use half wholewheat flour and half plain self-raising; the latter counteracts the heaviness of the former.

    Tamasin Day-Lewis's The Art of the Tart (Weidenfeld Nicolson; £9.99) is, as its title suggests, a great resource for pastry fans.


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