This quiche is a beautiful and impressive dish that I have been developing for quite a while, and since Shavuot is coming up it only seemed right to tell you all about it finally.
It is completely vegan, which is hard to believe since that’s not really the association I personally have with the word “quiche”. Even without considering the dairy, your normal everyday quiche is usually laden with eggs.
These are replaced here by what has become somewhat of a staple in my house: red lentil paste. The red variety cook faster than the other ones, are more starchy and have a very neutral flavor — making them perfect candidates for all kinds of bases in baking, from savory dishes like this one and all the way down to brownies.
What I love about this quiche is that it can absolutely be done in different ways: I love the way sweet potatoes work in it, but have also successfully done roasted peppers, spinach, and countless others.
The crust here was given the complete lazy-girl makeover: no pastry cutters, no food processors dirty with buttery dough or hands sore from rubbing margarine bits, no OCDing over keeping everything as cold as possible.
That said, it definitely has a slightly different texture than all-butter crusts. For me, the difference isn’t enough of a motivation to start involving all the things I happily left behind (see the list two sentences back). But if you’re feeling particularly un-lazy then use this recipe for the filling, and a different, non-lazy one for the crust.
Sweet Potato & Feta Quiche:
Estimated Time: 90 minutes
Kosher Classification: Neutral
Music That Compliments This Dish: The Microphones – Lantern
500 g (about 1 lb) sweet potatoes
1 medium onion
5 garlic cloves
3/4 cup red lentils (uncooked)
1.5 cups almond meal
1/4 cup minus 2 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
3-4 drops imitation butter extract (optional)
2+2/3 cups flour (I used whole wheat)
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp cold water
In case you haven’t noticed, this recipe isn’t exactly the 1-bowl, 3-ingredient, mix-and-forget-about-it type. But! If all the steps are synchronized correctly, you can pull this off easily in 90 minutes, and possibly less (I do it in about an hour).
I’ll give the steps in the order that makes sense to me, but if you find yourself done with one thing and waiting on an oven or microwave to finish, scan ahead and see what else can be done.
The quiche has three main parts: The crust, the filling, and the feta. I’ll denote which part we are working on before each instruction.
CRUST: Start by making the crust. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Add the vegetable oil and cold water and mix with a fork until just incorporated.
Press into a lightly greased 9.5 inch round and shallow pan,pierce with a fork, and stick it in the fridge while you preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (which are 350 degrees Fahrenheit).
FILLING: While things are simultaneously heating and cooling, cook the lentils. Cover them in a small pot with about an inch of water and boil until they are completely mushy and no water remains.
FILLING: While the lentils are cooking, slice the sweet potatoes into small 1-inch slices. I like to quarter the spuds lengthwise and then slice along each quarter, but it’s really your choice. Just make sure they are roughly the same size and thickness.
Then put the slices in a microwavable bowl, sprinkle with water, and nuke it in the microwave until soft (but not falling apart), about 5-7 minutes depending on your microwave.
CRUST: Once the oven is hot enough, gently place foil over the dough and lay some baking weights on top to keep it down (I use dry chickpeas), and blind-bake for 20 minutes.
FETA: While that’s happening, place the almond meal, olive oil, lemon juice and water in a food processor and blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Set aside until needed.
FILLING: Once the lentils have cooked, blend them until smooth (this can be done with an immersion blender).
FILLING: Slice the onion into half rings and saute with a bit of olive oil in a medium pan. Once it is golden, add the minced garlic and saute until fragrant.
Add the softened sweet potato slices to the onion and garlic. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg and stir well until the sweet potato is very soft. Remove from heat until needed.
CRUST: Once the blind-baking phase is up, remove the weights and the foil and bake uncovered for an additional 20 minutes.
FILLING: Add the garlic-onion-sweet potato mix to the lentil paste and stir thoroughly. Add the butter extract as well, if using.
ASSEMBLY: Once the crust is done baking, gently spread the filling into it.
ASSEMBLY: Make small cavities in the filling and stuff them with chunks of feta, smoothing over the top.
Lower the oven temperature to 160 degrees Celsius (which are 320 degrees Fahrenheit) and bake for about 35 minutes.
Serve at room temperature. Store covered in the refrigerator.
- In a medium bowl, mix 2+2/3 cups flour with 1 tsp salt. Add 3/4 cup vegetable oil and 1 tsp cold water and mix until just incorporated.
- Press into a lightly oiled 9.5 inch round and and shallow baking pan, and refrigerate while heating the oven to 180 C (350 F).
- Cover 3/4 cup red lentils with 1 inch of water and boil until soft and no liquids remain, about 20 minutes. Blend in a bowl until completely smooth.
- Blind bake the crust for 20 minutes by covering dough lightly with foil and laying baking weights on top of the foil).
- Slice 500 g (1 lb) sweet potato into small, 1 inch slices and microwave until soft but not mushy (About 5 minutes).
- Saute 1 medium onion (thinly sliced) and 5 minced garlic cloves in a medium saucepan until fragrant and golden. Add The soft sweet potato, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, and 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg and mix well.
- Add the sauteed vegetables to the lentil paste and stir well. Add 3-4 drops imitation butter extract, if using.
- Take the baking weights and foil off of the crust and bake for 20 additional minutes.
- In a food processor, process 1.5 cups almond meal with 1/4 cup minus 2 Tbs. olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 cup water until smooth.
- Spread the lentil-sweet potato mixture into the crust, then make holes for the almond “feta” and fill them with large chunks of the almond paste. Smooth the top and bake for 35 minutes at 160 C (320 F).
- Serve at room temperature.