Tomato Thursday: Quiche

In my lacto-ovo days I used to make a cheesy tomato and basil quiche. It was great, but I had never thought about veganizing it, I had kind of forgotten it even existed. But basil plants growing on our window sill reminded me of it, and I decided to try to make a vegan version. I used basic crust recipe and filled the quiche with Tofutti cream cheese and fresh basil and tomatoes. And here’s the result:


piiras

The original quiche had grated cheese on top, but I omitted it in this vegan version. If you want to make extra cheesy quiche, add some melting vegan cheese on top.

Basil and Tomato Quiche

crust:
100 g margarine
1 dl whole wheat flour
2 dl wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp water

filling:
1 tub Tofutti cream cheese
2 tbsp plain soy yogurt (or soy milk or cream)
fresh basil leaves
3-4 tomatoes
salt, pepper

Preheat the oven to 225 Celsius degrees. Crumble the margarine, both flours and baking powder in a bowl. Add a little water to form a dough. Grease a pie dish and spread the dough in it. Bake 8-10 minutes.

Whisk Tofutti and soy yogurt until soft and easily spreadable. Spread on prebaked crust. Cover cheese with fresh basil leaves and sprinkle some salt and pepper. Put a layer of tomato slices on top. Bake until it’s ready. Unfortunately I can’t tell you the correct time, because I didn’t check the time while baking. Besides, I baked my quiche a little too long.

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Tomato Thursday: Hummus

I love traditional hummus, but sometimes I like to make something different. Herbs, olives and even cooked vegetables are an easy way to provide variation to your hummus. This time I used sun dried tomatoes and basil.

hummus

Hummus with Sun Dried Tomatoes

4 dl cooked chickpeas
1 big garlic clove
6 sun dried tomato halves
1 tbsp oil from the tomato jar
3 tbsp tahini (optional)
2 tsp red vinegar
1-2 tbsp chopped basil (or 1-2 tsp dried)
salt, pepper

Blend chickpeas, garlic, tahini, sun dried tomatoes and oil until smooth. Add vinegar and basil and season with salt and pepper.

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Middle Eastern Bean Salad

Balela is a salad made with chickpeas, black beans, tomatoes and parsley. You can serve it with good bread, as a side dish or as part of mezze table. Unfortunately our available options today were dried parsley or fresh basil, no fresh parsley. I decided to go with the basil. Not a bad choice, even though parsley would definitely taste more authentic.

balela

Balela with Basil

4 dl cooked chickpeas
4 dl cooked black beans
2 big tomatoes
1 red onion
1 small garlic clove
1,5 dl chopped fresh basil
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
salt, pepper

Chop the tomatoes. Peel and chop the onion. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Marinade at least half an hour before serving, or refrigerate over night.

mofobanneri2013

The Last Basils From The Balcony

We didn’t grow any herbs in the community garden, but we did grow them at home. Finnish summer is usually too chilly for basil, so we grow it indoors. I planted quite a few seeds in the spring and few weeks later we had so many small basils that they didn’t fit on our windowsills. I decided to plant the rest on hanging flower pots in a shady corner of the balcony and see if they grow there. All the good sunny parts were already taken by dill, parsley, mint, lettuce, rocket, catnip and other plants.

Here’s some herbs on May 31st. Basil in the small pots in front and Parsley and marjoram in the big pot.

This summer was much hotter than normal and the basils didn’t even mind the lack of sunlight. Here they are on August 10th.

Now it’s autumn and nights are getting cold. Indoors basils are still growing well, but it was time to harvest the ones from the balcony. I baked some bread whirls, but I used too much garlic. I didn’t know such thing as “too much garlic” even existed, but here the taste of the garlic was so strong that you barely tasted the basil. I reduced the amount in the recipe, and next time I’ll use only 2 cloves myself too.

Garlic And Basil Whirls

Dough:
2,5 dl lukewarm water
25g yeast
0,5 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 dl rye flour
1 dl graham flour
5 dl wheat flour
2 tbsp oil

Filling:
4 tbsp margarine
2 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
2 dl chopped fresh basil
pinch of salt and pepper
3-4 tbsp sunflower seeds

Combine water, yeast, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir until dissolved. Add rye and graham flour and most of the wheat flour and start kneading. Add the oil and more wheat flour and knead more. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until doubled. Punch down and make a 30cm x 40 cm rectangle.

Mix margarine, garlic and basil in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Spread on the dough rectangle and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Roll the dough from the wider side and cut in 2 cm slices. Put the slices in muffin cups or on a baking sheet and bake in 225 Celsius degrees about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

I recommend using the muffin cups, because if you bake the whirls on baking sheet, they will be loose like this.