My voice is raspy. My eyelids are heavy. My clothes are still in a pile by my bed. And I still have to find my slippers. Yet, my heart is full, my memories wonderful and my mind is a big mumble jumble of pressure drop, happiness and everything that is good and wonderful.
Clare and I held our first 3 day workshop together this passed weekend and I still have to process it all. To say we had a great time would not do it justice. We met one of the most wonderful group of women we had had the chance to instruct in everything food photography related. One word that I have used so far to describe the workshop and this weekend is "generosity". I will go back to that when I post more about the workshop in the next couple of days.
As I mentioned, I still have to process the emotions and thoughts of this weekend. All wonderful. All making me completely aware that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. What I have set out to do and giving it my all everyday. Food photography allowed me to become my own. It is my responsibility to nurture that path.
For Clare and myself, the workshop was both a way to nurture the attendees' interest and skills in food photography as it was a way to offer them the time and the place to unwind and focus for a few days. Something we don’t always have the opportunity to do in the midst of careers, families, children, etc… We wanted to take care of them. We made them work. We made them laugh. We fed and wined them.
One of the lunches we prepared consisted of several salads and quiches. One of them was a variation on the one I am posting here today, a Squash Blossom Quiche with Feta and Basil. Unusual and completely tasty. Squash blossoms are in season here right now and every where at the farmers market these past couple of weeks. I can’t get enough of them. Simply chopped and tossed in salads. Slightly grilled and sprinkled with sea salt. Filled and pan fried until crisp. It’s a love affair I hate to see end in a few weeks when they will disappear from the stalls.
Another love affair of mine lately is with radishes. Watermelon radishes, heirloom French radishes (Jaune D’or radishes), French breakfast radishes, early Scarlet, Sicilian reds, etc… Raw with a sprinkle of salt, roasted with a sprig of rosemary. Or simply dressed with a drizzle of pungent olive oil, celtic salt and freshly ground pepper. I bought many bunches to use during the workshop and they were the perfect peppery or spicy touch to the giant salads that accompanied all our dinners.
We are very lucky to have the folks at Lowland Farms grow as many interesting varieties of radishes, greens, kales, etc…with that much care and passion. A simple radish salad was the perfect buttery-peppery partner to the soft and delicate squash blossom quiche.
Time to unwind, get myself situated again and get ready for the busy weeks ahead. All by nurturing creativity and self with good food and good people…
Squash Blossom Quiche With Feta And Basil:
Serves 6 to 8 (I used a 9.5-inch round Le Creuset pie pan and had plenty for 8)
For the crust:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (or same amount of Jeanne’s gluten free flour mix)
generous pinch sea salt or kosher salt
1 stick (115gr) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1/4 cup ice cold water, or enough to just hold together the pastry
1 egg wash – yolk, pinch salt, splash water, blended together
For the filling:
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
8 to 10 squash blossoms
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a plastic blade, pulse together the flour and salt. Add the cold butter all at once. Pulse until the flour is the size of tiny peas. Drizzle the ice water through the mouth of the food processor, while pulsing. Stop just when the pastry begins to come together. Empty the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and form into a disk using your hands. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This can be done up to 2-3 days in advance. You can of course, do the whole thing by hand.
Once the pastry has rested, preheat the oven to 350F. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface, to about 1/4″ thickness. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
In a food processor, pulse together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and basil leaves until the basil gives the filling a light green color. By hand, nutmeg and feta. Do not pulse but stir them in with a spoon. Pour at the bottom of the refrigerated pie crust and top with the squash blossoms in a circle all around the filling.
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour until the quiche is golden brown. Let cool slightly before eating.