Thursday, October 13, 2011

Julia Child's Provencal Tomato Quiche

This is a different sort of quiche than I've made before. It doesn't use any milk or cream, and there aren't even very many eggs in it. The surprising ingredient is anchovy fillets. I still had some left in the jar from when I made the amazing anchovy butter so it was a good excuse to use them up. If you are hesitant about the anchovies, don't be. They just add a really nice salty flavor - not fishy at all.

You start with a pre-baked pie shell (I used a whole wheat store-bought one to keep things simple), then you layer it with mashed anchovies, a filling of sauteed onions and tomatoes mixed with egg, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, then finally, sliced tomatoes. I thought the colorful heirloom tomatoes from our CSA would be great for this. This quiche was delicious - I wanted to devour the whole thing myself, and probably would have, if no one was looking.

CSA Week 19:

In the box: 1/2 pound spinach, 1.5 pounds heirloom tomatoes, 1 1/4 pounds broccoli, 2 pounds White Rose potatoes, 1 Acorn squash, 3 red bell peppers, 1 head garlic, 1 watermelon, 1 basket French Petite plums, 2 pounds Rome apples

Winter squash are here! We are so excited. Besides sweet potatoes, squash are one of our favorite winter vegetables. I'm sure there will be many times this winter where we will simply roast the squash and top it with nothing but butter and maybe a little brown sugar, but for our very first squash of the season I chose to make a soup. I used a recipe from one of my many Mark Bittman cookbooks: The Best Recipes in the World. It's a Laotian-style squash soup made with squash, onion, tomato, chickpeas, stock, coconut milk, and fish sauce. Pureed and topped with cilantro (and scallions if I had had any).

Whenever I see broccoli and potatoes together I immediately want to make one of my favorite meals: oven-roasted potatoes and broccoli topped with homemade mornay sauce. That's cheese sauce, people. I've blogged about it before. This time I used 2% milk and sharp cheddar. I roasted the potato wedges first, then when they were close to being done, I added chopped broccoli (florets and stems - peel stems first), since they don't take quite as much time as potatoes. Roasted broccoli is just amazing, right? It's got such a different flavor than when it's stir-fried or steamed. Amazing. Joe also bought some sweet Italian sausage links to add to the meal, so we cooked those first, in a skillet, then sliced and tossed with the roasted veggies. We didn't cook all the potatoes, so there are still a couple in the fridge for another time.

We made fajitas using the red bell peppers, along with a couple other colors of peppers and onions that we bought. They went into the grill basket in big pieces and then we thinly sliced them once they were done. We also grilled a huge piece of skirt steak that we marinated first in a mixture of garlic, Serrano chilis, oil, salt, and lots of lime juice.

We ate the watermelon and the plums for snacks. Garlic went into the stash.

For breakfast one morning, we had fried eggs over a mound of steamed spinach. It was healthy, but next time I think I would saute the spinach in a little oil or butter to add more flavor.

We still have a couple of potatoes, and we haven't done anything with the apples yet. Rome apples are good cooking apples.

Provencal Tomato Quiche
adapted from Julia Child - The Way to Cook
makes one 9-inch pie, serves 4-6

Note: Use fresh, in season tomatoes for this dish. Julia would have you peel the tomatoes, but I didn't bother and it was fine with us. For the seasonings, she doesn't give amounts, and I didn't measure, but I gave my best guess as to what I used, so at least it's a starting point. If you absolutely don't think you can stomach the anchovies, I think a good substitute would be kalamata olives, because they would provide a similar salty flavor.

2 cups sliced onions
about 1/4 cup olive oil
1 large clove garlic, pureed
5 medium fresh ripe tomatoes, peeled if you want, seeded, extra juice squeezed out, and chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
1 egg plus 3 yolks, lightly beaten
8 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained and then mashed with 1 tablespoon olive oil
One 9-inch frozen pie shell
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or other hard cheese
1 or 2 large tomatoes, sliced, for topping the quiche

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Unwrap frozen pie shell. Prick all over with a fork. Lay a piece of foil gently over the top, and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of the oil and heat medium. When hot, add the onions and saute for 8-10 minutes, until tender but not browned. Add the garlic, the chopped tomatoes, and bring to a simmer. Cook like that for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Mash the tomatoes with the back of the spoon a little bit if needed; the mixture should start to form a thick puree. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, cayenne, and tomato paste if needed, and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a large glass bowl and let cool to tepid.

Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the eggs and parsley.

To assemble the quiche, start by spreading the mashed anchovies across the bottom of the pie shell. Next, pour the tomato/egg mixture into the shell, smoothing with a spatula. Sprinkle the cheese evenly across the surface, and then arrange the tomato slices on top. Salt lightly, and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. When it's done, it will be lightly puffed, and the crust will be nice and brown. 


  1. This looks wholesome! Had tomato quiche before, but with some cherry tomatoes and herbs...gotta try this with anchovy.

  2. great recipe - i just made this with gluten free pastry- yum - thanks for sharing this is agreat blog :-)


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