Parma Ham, Caramelised Onion, and Rocket Quiche

A quiche will make for a lovely light lunch, and is so versatile you can actually fill it with anything you like. I make variations that include ‘tomato, basil, feta’; ‘butternut and feta/goat’s cheese’; or ‘asparagus and tuna’. This recipe is the favourite however, and looks really impressive topped off with extra Parma ham and rocket, giving it height and colour.

Here’s what goes in:

For the base:

  • 1 cup of cake flour
  • 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • Half a cup of softened butter

For the filling:

  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • A little butter for frying
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 100g of Parma ham, shaved (about 12 slices)
  • A quarter cup of parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 6 large eggs
  • 150ml of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 100ml of cream
  • 1 handful of rocket or micro leaf herbs
  • Shavings of Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese

How to do it:

To make the base, blend the cake flour, grated cheese and butter in a food processor until a soft dough is formed. Remove the ball of dough from the food processor and gently combine it by hand. Press this dough into a lightly greased 25cm flan or pie dish. You can bake this blind or often what I do is just pierce the bases with a fork in a few places. Bake it in the oven at 180°C for about 7 minutes, just to give the base a head-start. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool while you prepare the filling.

To caramelise the onion, finely slice and sauté these slices in the butter until softened. Then add the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar to begin the caramelisation process. Once the onions take on a dark brown colour and rich, sticky consistency, they are done.

Tear up 8 of the slices of Parma ham and spread these evenly over the base, spoon in the caramelised onion, and sprinkle the grated parmesan over the top. Whisk the eggs with the milk, cream and baking powder. Season to taste and then pour over the prepared base, filling your flan tin to just below the rim. Place this in the oven and bake at 180°C for 25 minutes or until the egg mixture is no longer wobbly when the pan is shaken. (When in doubt, gently shake the quiche every so often, as you want to be careful to not over-cook the quiche). Less is more!

As you are about to serve, garnish the quiche with rocket, Grana Padano shavings, and the remaining shredded Parma ham.

Photo credit: Caroline Miller Photography

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