I love buying fresh fruit and vegetables in Brixton market. Rows and rows of bright colours and shapes, all at fantastic prices. But sometimes life has got in the way and I don’t have anything fresh in the house. This isn’t a problem, many fruits and vegetables work well as frozen or tinned products and none more than callaloo.
This post was first published at Brixton Blog…
Sturdier than its cousin spinach, it is almost better from a tin than fresh because it requires so much washing and chopping otherwise. It can be cooked quickly or slowly and I much prefer it to those damp pellets of frozen spinach. It takes flavour brilliantly and is robust enough to be the star of the show as you’ll see with this tasty quiche.
I’ve used duck eggs here because I love them with their smooth white shells and plump golden yolks. Just that bit bigger and creamier than a hen’s egg, they allowed me to skip using double cream in this quiche. You can buy them from The Duck Egg Cafe on Coldharbour Lane, but if you can’t get them, then just use 50g more cream cheese and 4 hen’s eggs. But be prepared to become obsessed with the creaminess of duck eggs!
Callaloo and Duck Egg Quiche (theoretically serves 4)
- 250g shortcrust pastry
- 100g cream cheese
- 200ml milk
- 3 duck eggs
- 1 tin callaloo, drained (approx 340g)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 5 stalks fresh tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper
Please don’t judge me too harshly, but I bought my pastry. Marks and Spencer sell it frozen and half a pack is the right amount here for the standard 9 inch tart tin. If you would prefer to make your pastry, this Dan Lepard recipe would be perfect.
Heat the oven to 180°C. Roll out your defrosted, but chilled pastry and line your tart tin. Make sure there are no gaps at the top when you trim the pastry and then chill it again for 30 minutes. Prick the pastry base all over with a fork.
While the pastry chills, gently soften the onion and garlic on a low heat for about about 10 minutes. Drain the callaloo and squeeze out any excess liquid. Combine with onion and garlic and add the chopped tarragon. Leave aside.
Line the pastry shell with greaseproof paper and fill with rice or dried beans, making sure the edges are well weighted down. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for another 10 minutes. This is ‘baking blind’ and it prepares the pastry and means it stays crisp when you fill it.
In a bowl, crack the eggs and add the cream cheese. Beat together well and then add the milk. Mix the callaloo mix into it and then pour this savoury custard into your blind baked pastry. If any doesn’t fit, pour into ramekins. Bake the quiche for 35-40 minutes at 180°C until the filling is set but still slightly wobbling in the middle. The same applies to the ramekins.
Cool for 10 minutes before cutting. This can be served warm or cold. It works well for lunch and keeps overnight to be taken as a packed lunch too. We ate it all alongside a tomato salad and barely managed to pause to snap a photo.