This week we went to Sami Fruits, a wholesaler/retailer of fruits and vegetables with an almost exclusively foreign-born clientèle. We love Sami Fruits. When we have guests from out of town we try to take them there because we think they’ll love it too. As usual we bought more vegetables than would fit in the fridge. I was watching the leeks (12 for $2.99) wither on the counter and thinking I should make leek and potato soup forthwith, but I had bought watercress for soup too and watercress goes bad if you don’t use it right away.
Mark wandered by, complaining that having diabetes is very boring because you can’t eat cake and cookies. It’s true, and I can’t do anything about it, but I can make an alternate rich baked treat. Quiche to the rescue of both the leeks and my beloved! To be accompanied by watercress soup!
2 large bunches of watercress
3 small potatoes
(other vegetables you might have on hand: spinach, carrots, celery, parsley, zucchini, rutabaga)
garlic and a little fat for heating it
2 or more cups vegetable stock (I use vegetable bouillon cubes)
1 or more cups soy milk
Cut the bunches of watercress in half at the elastic, separating the stems from the leaves. Chop the stems small, chop the leaves big. Prepare all the other vegetables. You can leave the skins on the potatoes. Divide them into soft (watercress leaves, spinach, zucchini) and hard (watercress stems, potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, parsley).
Heat the garlic in a little oil or butter. Before it browns, add all the hard vegetables and cover with stock. Cook until soft. Add the soft vegetables and cook a little more. Spoon most of the vegetables into the food processor or blender. Process or blend. Put back in the pot. Add the soy milk. Thin with more water and soy milk as desired. Heat through.
1 10-inch uncooked pie crust in a flat-bottomed pie dish
As much grated cheese as you think is nice (I seem to think about 7 oz is nice) (for the leek quiche I used cheddar and mozzarella, but whatever you like and have on hand will work)
1 cup milk
Sprinkle a little more than half the grated cheese on the bottom of the pie crust. Fill with vegetables. Mix the eggs and milk and pour over the vegetables. Sprinkle the whole with the remaining cheese and bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let rest 5-10 minutes and enjoy.
8 oz mushrooms
Trim off the toughest, darkest green ends of the leeks. Wash the leeks by cutting down through the leaves towards (but not through) the bulb and root, exposing the insides of the leaves so you can rinse them under the tap.
Slice the leeks thin. Slice the mushrooms thin. Chop the dill fine. Heat everything in a little oil until soft.
(You really can use anything for the vegetable filling. Another great version is fresh sliced tomatoes sprinkled with basil and black olives. The same formula but completely different, especially if you use feta or goat cheese for the cheese.)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup butter
3 T ice water
1/2 t salt
Make the pastry dough the usual way: stir the salt into the flour, cut in the butter (I use a food processor, but a pastry cutter is better), stir in the ice water, form into a ball and refrigerate. If you’ve thought ahead, wait four hours. Otherwise use it whenever you need to.
Try rolling it out, but whole wheat pastry dough doesn’t roll out as well as white flour pastry dough. Rather than working the pastry dough with a rolling pin forever and making it tough and getting frustrated, content yourself with rolling out smaller pieces and patching them together in your pie dish. It’s fine.