Much as I hate going to shops, I admit there's a gorgeously vicarious joy in going into other people's homes and rummaging through their stuff -- even if it's stuff they've decided they don't want anymore-- and finding treasures I can put to good use.
My home's filled with all kinds of finds-- some of it is quirky, like an antique valet chair picked up by Desi who has an eye for the unusual. Some of it is elegant, like a beautiful, weathered wooden desk that we picked up at the home of a former journalist in the neighborhood who had just passed away. Some of it is just really useful, like a comfortable couch that we got for nothing. Turns out the owners, who were moving, were cat lovers and when they found out we were too, it clinched the deal. It now sits in the den and Pubm pretty much dominates it, soaking up the sun filtering in from the window, so I assume she somehow found out she was the reason we got that couch. :) Smart, those cats.
Desi also loves picking up old records at yard sales-- and I find it hard to pass up any good baking tools and pans that I can find.
Of course, yard sales can also be too much temptation to pick up stuff you'll find -- too late-- you didn't need after all. The only comfort is, you usually got it cheap enough not to regret it too much.
I am going to share today my recipe for Savory Sweet Potato Quiche, which is almost like having dessert for lunch. Or dinner.
The rosemary and sage in my herb garden have already perked up in the warming weather, and I put their punchy, savory deliciousness to work alongside the creamy-sweet flavors of my quiche.
I made my quiche crust with whole-wheat pastry flour and oat flour. I also added a couple of tablespoons of vegan cream cheese, which is in the filling, to the crust, because I heard or read somewhere that cream cheese helps make a tender crust.
I should've known better. The crust was exceedingly tender -- too tender, in fact-- and I ended up having to pat it in the pan. It was also rather crumbly when it came out, but delicious. If you want a sturdier crust, I'd advise going with the one I used in this recipe, minus the sugar. You can halve the fat in that recipe and use olive oil instead of butter or shortening. Or you could also always make this quiche crustless.
I topped the quiche with some slow-caramelized onions which added a little more sweetness to the dish and very nicely complimented the savory flavors of the herbs.
Here's the recipe now. I am sending it to It's A Vegan World: French, the latest edition of a series started right here on Holy Cow! and hosted this month by Graziana of Erbe in Cucina.
For the crust:
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
2 tbsp vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti's savory sour-cream-and-onion but feel free to go with the plain one)
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil (try to use extra virgin)
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. The dough should hold together in a ball, but if it doesn't, add some water.
Place in a container or wrap it in shrink-wrap, then refrigerate while you get your filling together.
For the filling:
3 medium sweet potatoes, baked in a 400-degree oven for about 30 minutes or until a fork inserted in the middle slides all the way through. Remove, cool, and peel.
1 8-oz tub (minus the 2 tbsp used for the crust) vegan cream cheese, either plain or savory.
1 12-oz packet of silken extra firm tofu
3-4 sprigs of rosemary (about 1 tbsp chopped)
3-4 sage leaves
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt to taste
In a 9-inch tart pan or a pie plate, lightly greased, place the crust dough and with your fingers pat it out to the sides, climbing up to the edges until you have an evenly patted-out crust.
Scrape the filling into it. Try to smooth it down as much as possible because this is a thick filling that is not going to settle on its own in the oven.
Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until the filling is nicely set.
Cool for at least 10 minutes before sliding off the tart-pan sleeve.
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp olive oil
Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onions and sugar and cook them, stirring frequently, on a medium-low flame until they are nicely golden-brown. This takes more than half an hour and some patience-- you don't want to hurry it up and burn them which would make them bitter. Scatter the onions on the quiche. Serve warm or at room temperature.