La Tartine Gourmande’s Salmon & Watercress Quiche
Channel your inner epicurean with this savory French tart from La Tartine Gourmande blogger, Beatrice Peltre.
Sweet rice, quinoa and amaranth crust (recipe follows)
7 oz (200 g) watercress or baby spinach
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup (235 ml) whole milk
1 bay leaf
Sea salt and pepper
1 pound 2 oz (500 g) skinned salmon
4 large eggs
¾ cup (175 ml) heavy cream
Dash of freshly grated nutmeg
1 Tbsp chopped dill
A few sage leaves, chopped
2 small leeks, white part only, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 egg white, lightly beaten with a fork
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and butter a 10-inch quiche mold (quiche molds have higher sides than regular tart molds).
To prepare the watercress, start by cutting off the leaves and discarding the longer stems. Make sure to wash it a few times until the water is clear to completely remove the dirt. Dry the cleaned watercress in a salad spinner.
In a saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the watercress and saute for about 3 minutes, stirring until soft. Transfer to a colander and squeeze out the excess water between your fingers. Set the pan aside to use later.
Finely chop the watercress and set aside.
In a pot, heat ¾ cup of the milk with the bay leaf and a pinch of sea salt and pepper. When just beginning to simmer, add the salmon and poach it for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let infuse for 10 minutes. Remove the salmon and crumble it into a bowl, making sure to discard the bones; set aside.
In a bowl, beat the eggs with the cream and the remaining ¼ cup milk. Season with sea salt and pepper and add the nutmeg, dill, and sage; set aside.
In the same saute pan you used for the watercress, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and shallot and cook for about 5 minutes without browning, stirring until soft. Remove from heat and stir in the watercress; set aside.
Roll and cut the dough (recipe next page) to fit inside the mold. Arrange the dough inside the mold and using a fork, make small holes at the bottom.
Prebake the crust for 10 minutes (instructions under “Kitchen Tip” at the end of this article). Remove the parchment paper and weights and brush the crust with the egg white. Return to the oven and bake for 5 more minutes. Add the vegetables and crumbled salmon to the crust and pour the egg batter over the top.
Bake the quiche for 30 to 35 minutes (20 minutes if you’re making individual quiches), or until the top is golden and the egg flan is set. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting; serve with a green salad.
Sweet Rice, Quinoa and Amaranth Crust
½ cup (80 g; 2 ¾ oz) sweet rice flour
½ cup (60 g; 2 oz) quinoa flour
½ cup (70 g; 2 ½ oz) amaranth flour
1 ½ tsp. xanthan gum
½ tsp. sea salt
7 Tbsp (100 g; 3 ½ oz) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1 small egg
4 Tbsp cold water, or more if needed
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle blade, combine the flours, xanthan gum and sea salt. Add the butter and mix on medium speed until crumbles form. Add the egg and mix again. Add the water gradually and continue mixing until the dough detaches from the bowl and forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour before using. If it’s in the fridge for a few hours or overnight, take out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before using.
To be prepared 1 hour ahead, or the day before. Makes six 4 ½-inch tartlets or one 12-inch tart.
KITCHEN TIP: PREBAKE A CRUST
“Blind baking” is the process of cooking a tart crust before adding the topping. Once you have rolled out the dough and pressed it into the tart mold, cover it with a piece of parchment paper, and top it with pie weights (dry rice or beans work, too). Bake the crust for 10 to 15 minutes, typically at 350°F (180°C) or at the temperature indicated in the recipe. Sometimes, if the recipe calls for it, you’ll bake the crust for an extra 5 minutes without the parchment paper and weights.
Image(s): Béatrice Peltre