We were supposed to be having a picnic with friends today. With the British weather being true to form, however, rain stopped play and we ended up picnicking on the living room floor instead. Typical!
I love picnic food – little bite-sized morsels neatly packed in tupperware boxes. Eating outside somehow makes everything taste lovelier, (though even picnicking in the living room is a treat!).
Over the next week I’ll post a few of my favourite picnic recipes, starting with these Mini Picnic Quiche Bites. These are so quick and easy to make – simply line a large baking tray with shop-bought pastry, pop in your quiche fillings of choice, bake, then slice into neat little squares when cool. So much less work than making little individual quiches, and just the right ratio of pastry bottom to filling.
- 500 g ready-made shortcrust pastry
- 1 head broccoli
- 100 g cherry tomatoes chopped into small-ish pieces
- 6 eggs
- 200 g passata
- Handful fresh spinach chopped
- 100 g cheddar cheese grated
- 300 ml double cream
- Handful pine nuts
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4. Take a rectangular baking tray, roughly 40 x 30cm and at least 2cm deep, (but don't worry too much if yours is slightly larger or smaller - your quiche bites will just turn out a little shallower or deeper). Roll out the pastry to a rectangle slightly larger than your baking tray, and line the tin, leaving a little pastry overhanging the edges to avoid shrinkage. Line the pastry with a sheet of foil and fill with baking beans or rice. Bake the pastry for 10-15 minutes until starting to turn golden.
Meanwhile, break the broccoli into small florets and boil for 8-10 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
Break 5 of the eggs into a large bowl, and separate the final egg, adding the yolk to the rest of the eggs and using the white to brush over the pastry base. Return it to the oven for 4-5 minutes until the egg white has cooked to a shiny glaze.
When the pastry has cooled slightly, pour over the passata and spread over the base. Next, add the broccoli, breaking up any florets if they are too large, then follow with the chopped tomatoes and then sprinkle over the grated cheese and spinach.
Whisk the cream into the eggs, season well with salt and black pepper. Pour this mixture carefully into the pastry case, then finally sprinkle over the pine nuts.
Bake for around 20 minutes until the quiche has turned golden and the filling has set. Leave to cool in the tray, then cut off the crusts and slice into neat squares. Mine were around 4cm x 4cm, but make them as large or as small as you like!