Tomato and Goat Cheese Quiche

We are approaching the last weeks of summer and the weather is changing. We have had a few rainy days and in the air there is a feeling of cooler days ahead. I always remember that the middle of August was the start of cooler nights in Toronto. That said, we are still enjoying our wonderful city and the summer days.

When I am not out training for my walk and run I have been working on building a new website. I had forgotten how much work it was to create a special showcase for your work. Stay tuned for the go-live. I have also done some travelling that I will feature in my next post.

In addition, I have been touring many of Toronto’s markets and local eateries.Even though I live a big city our local farmers markets are a good source of fresh organic produce from the surrounding area.

I love the abundance of the seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables. One of my favourite things in August is the taste of a fresh picked tomato off of the vine. I have been growing my own herbs but not any vegetables although some of my high-rise neighbours grow cherry tomatoes on the their balconies and patios with great success.

This recipe for tomato and goat cheese quiche makes a great dish for brunch or lunch that is packed with flavour.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Quiche

Makes 4-6 servings

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 branches of cherry tomatoes on the vine
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. (5 ml) thyme leaves
Salt and pepper
4 large eggs
½ cup (125 ml) heavy cream
2 tbsp. (30 ml) oregano leaves
8 oz. (250 g) soft goat cheese

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry large enough to line the bottom and sides of an 11 x 5 inch (28×12 cm) rectangular tart pan. Gently press the pastry into the pan and trim the edges. Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Chill for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Bake the tart shell for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). On a small baking sheet drizzle the tomatoes on the vine with the olive oil. Sprinkle with the garlic, sugar, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Roast until the tomatoes are slightly blistered, about 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool while you make the custard.
Whisk together the eggs, cream, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Break the goat cheese into pieces and scatter over the tart shell. Carefully place the tomatoes in the tart shell. Pour the egg mixture over the cheese and tomatoes.
Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). bake the quiche until the filling is set and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Trim the edges if desired, remove quiche from the pan, cut into portions.

Recipe from Pitchin’ In by Lynn Crawford


Chef Lynn Crawford Returns to Her Roots

Last night I had a great time at Toronto’s George Brown College, School of Culinary Arts. I was attending a book signing event for George Brown College Alumni, Chef Lynn Crawford’s new cookbook, Pitchin In. The book is a wonderful compilation of the recipes and food ingredients that Chef Lynn experienced while filming her TV show, Pitchin In. The book is filled with beautiful photos, and loads of wonderful recipes that I cannot wait to try.

The evening was filled with laughter and excitement while Lynn graciously shared her experiences while filming the show and throughout her extensive culinary career.  The room was filled with young chefs in training and fans of Chef Lynn who came from all over Ontario in spite of a winter storm.

Lynn has such an enormous passion for food and for people who her excitement is contagious. She may be Canada’s top female chef but talking to her is like talking to a neighbour or a friend. She has the charismatic personality that makes you feel happy to meet her.

Chef Lynn started her culinary career in Toronto after training at George Brown College. She went on to gain international acclaim during her 24 year years with the Four Seasons Hotels which included time as the Executive Chef in both the Toronto and New York City hotels. She has been seen on the Food Network on Restaurant Makeover, Iron Chef America, Pitchin In and recently as a judge on Top Chef Canada.

She returned to Toronto in 2010 to open her restaurant Ruby WatchCo and her gourmet store Ruby Eats in Toronto’s trendy Riverdale/Leslieville area. I have not yet been to Ruby Watchco but I do plan to go soon.

Special thanks to our hosts for the evening, The Cookbook Store.