As we enter into Spring and search for signs of it everywhere we go, the vegetable garden can be one of the best places to start. Small tips of green onions are already poking their heads through the soil in the polytunnel and we can’t wait to start pulling them and adding them to our salads.
The word onion is derived from the Latin word unio, meaning single white pearl and these gorgeous globes are amongst the most versatile of vegetables and an essential ingredient for gardeners or chefs alike. Planting onion seeds now can get you motivated to get more involved in a kitchen garden project this year as they produce quite a decent bounty from a small patch of land.
Knowing how to use these hollow fleshy leaves with prominent bulbs takes quite a bit of trial and error, but they are the workhorse ingredient of many a soup, stew and sauce around the world. Caramelized, roasted, minced, raw or battered and fried, it will take you quite some time to grow weary of them. While many cooks feel onions should be relegated to a supporting role in culinary adventures we have yet to tire of this kitchen staple and like to give onions their time in the limelight once in a while.
This recipe showcases the versatility of the onion by using it as the meat of the meal—a rich custardy quiche made with thick slices of soft and sautéed red onions. In our efforts to introduce (and keep) more vegetables rich in colour and flavour into our diets, we toss in a few red onions each week to the basket when at the market. Although excellent when used in a salad, these beautiful onions hold a fabulous texture when cooked and their flavour is delicious too, giving us a sticky caramelized taste.
Red Onion & Goats Cheese Quiche
Quiche can be tricky. Learning how to make a really simple savoury custard gives you freedom to liven up an ordinary cheese quiche with a multitude of ingredients. Using red onions adds a depth of flavour and texture that makes this much more than a lazy lunchtime treat and brings it to the forefront of your plate and palate.
What you will need
For the custard
- 6 eggs
- 1 ½ cups of milk
- ½ cup of cream
For the rest of the filling
- 2 red onions
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp black pepper
- ½ cup of goat cheese
For the crust
- 1 pre-baked pastry crust to fit in a 9″ pie pan
How to prepare it
Slice the onions ⅜″ thick and pre-cook them in oil and butter, making every effort to keep the slices in tact.
Pre-bake the pastry crust and leave it off to the side while you prepare the custard filling. In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs and add in the milk and cream. Put cherry tomatoes and goat cheese into pastry crust and top with the red onion slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before pouring in the egg mixture. Bake at 175ºC for 35–40 minutes. A quick shake of the pie dish to see if the middle has set up will ensure your quiche is cooked all the way through. Allow to cool for ten minutes before slicing into it or can be served cold from the fridge as a lunch snack too.