ringlets of red, cushioned in quiche ::::
I don’t watch many movies or TV these days, but a few video trailers catch my eye as I get sucked into a few Disney princess movies or something Pixar related in Peach’s Movie Night for the week. One trailer leaped off the screen: there were focused animated porcelain-skinned characters, rugged the Scottish Highlands, and a heroine: a hard-nosed impetuous princess, an archer, copper hair blowing in the wind, ringlets afire. It is Brave, in theaters June 2012. That hair, almost realistic, dazzled me. For the hair alone, I would sit down and watch the movie. Fine and straight, stringy and flat is what I see in the mirror every morning. Those ringlets are my escape into volume and body.
Which is exactly what these peppers were in my friend’s garden: voluminous and curvy. A close second to the tomatoes I talked about in this post, the peppers were practically screaming to be plucked from their plants. Please! There are so many of us! Pick meeeeeeee! I found the red bell peppers sweet, voluptuous, and crisp. The long, thin brilliant heirloom variety I used in this recipe (there was no label in the garden so I have no idea of the name), surprisingly sweet with a crispy chew. These, with their long slender bodies, looked perfect for stuffing with cheese, or to be sliced on the axial to show off ringlets of red. And here is where those ringlets had to end up: decorating a quiche. If I can’t have the hair, I might has well enjoy the food.
- 2 cups milk (I used whole)
- 4 whole eggs, beaten
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 sheet of puff pastry (to fit a 9-inch or 10-inch Springform pan), thawed
- ½ cup roasted butternut squash, diced (any left over cooked vegetables will work)
- ¼ cup Asiago and Parmesan cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- raw sweet Italian peppers (Corno di Toro), cut into ¾ cup of ringlets
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Briefly warm milk on stove stop to hasten cooking time.
- Cool slightly and add to eggs, beating together. Add and mix in salt and pepper.
- Prepare puff pastry: Place puff pastry into Springform pan, cutting corners off and placing on pan wall to shape a uniformly high pastry wall. (It doesn't have to be perfectly neat, just somewhat even and without holes.)
- Sprinkle butternut squash into pastry shell. Sprinkle with Asiago/Parmesan cheese.
- Pour custard mixture over bottom of pastry shell. Sprinkle with mozzarella.
- Very carefully, place red pepper ringlets onto custard, making sure that they remain floating on the surface (some immersion is unavoidable) so that you can appreciate the contrast of the yellowy custard, white cheese, and the brilliant red. Tile in a loose mosaic form (see my photo).
- Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until top is golden.
- Cool slightly, unhook the pan wall carefully to avoid pastry tearing (Be Brave!). Enjoy warm or cold.