This is another slightly summery, very healthy yet comforting dish – a perfect antidote to winter over-indulgence! We were originally planning on doing a rich white sauce with this mackerel, but after spending the day making (and subsequently eating) pastry at Bristol’s Bordeaux Quay we really fancied something lighter.
Here’s the ingredients for 2 people:
1 small head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
Small handful of sunflower seeds
2 smoked mackerel fillets, skins removed
100 g salad leaves (we used little gem lettuce, watercress, rocket and spinach)
2 salad tomatoes, deseeded and cut into strips
Olive oil & extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 180ºC. Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for about 3 minutes, drain and leave to steam for a minute before transferring to a roasting dish. Add the sunflower seeds, about half the zest of the lemon and a good glug of olive oil, mix together and put in the oven. This should take about 25-30 minutes – make sure you stir it about occasionally.
Mix up a dressing by combining about 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, about half the juice of the lemon and a good pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of pepper.
When the broccoli is done, serve it up on top of the leaves, and top with a few strips of tomato and the mackerel, torn into bite-sized chunks. Add any remaining sesame seeds and drizzle everything with a bit of dressing.
On top of being a delicious and healthy meal, this has to be one of the most delicious ways to prepare broccoli that we’ve ever experienced! We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
This is not a health food post. If you’re looking for healthy, look away now (although there is some salad porn at the bottom so you’d really better keep reading…). This quiche has flaky, buttery pastry, a rich cheesy filling with caramelised leeks and then the bite and freshness of the broccoli. We apologise now for the lack of photos, Fats was painting a wall and evidently Bird doesn’t multitask well.
First things first – pastry. Pastry is one of those things we’ve always been a bit nervous of, the fear of a soggy bottom is nearly too much to handle. But this was really easy, so give it a go!
Pastry Ingredients (makes enough pastry for a 25cm tart case)
280g plain flour
140g cold butter, cubed
6-8 tbsp cold water
Rub the butter into the flour until you have a fine breadcrumb texture. Then add the water, being careful not to chuck the whole lot in as ours needed less than suggested, until you have a smooth dough that holds together but isn’t sticky. Give it a brief knead so it comes together nicely and then put it in the fridge, wrapped in cling film, for 20-40 minutes before you want to use it. That’s pretty much it! Told you it was easy. The things that seem to help most here are keeping your hands cool, keeping all your ingredients cool and not working it too much at all.
After it has chilled place it on a floured work surface and roll out so it is more than big enough to fit in your tart case, ours was about 5mm thick. Place it in the tart case and use a ball of excess dough to work it into the fluting of the case so you don’t thin it or break it with your fingers. Then place back in the fridge for another 20 minutes while you preheat your oven to 200°C. Once the oven has come to temperature take the tart case out of the fridge, prick the base of it with a fork, line with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans. Place in the oven to blind bake for 20 minutes, meanwhile you can get on with the filling.
Broccoli (around 200g, just the florets)
1 small leek, finely chopped
1 tsp butter
280ml double cream
Gruyere cheese, grated – as much as you like!
Bring a pan of water to the boil and then chuck the broccoli in to blanch – it only needs to be cooked for about 2 minutes so after this time take it out, drain it and put in a bowl/pan of cold water to refresh it and stop it cooking. This means it retains it’s lovely green colour when baked. Sweat the leeks in the butter until soft and lightly caramelised. Whisk the two eggs, slowly add the cream and then mix in the leeks and half the cheese.
By this point the 20 minutes on your pastry should be up so remove the baking beans and allow it to colour slightly for 5-10 minutes more in the oven until it is a pale biscuit colour. Once done take it out and arrange the broccoli evenly across it, we made sure not to put a piece bang in the middle because although it would look lovely it would make it a right faff when it came to serving it!
Pour over the filling and then sprinkle over the other half of the cheese. Put it back in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until lovely and golden on top. Leave it to cool in the case and then remove and serve!
We had ours with a delicious salad of sultanas which were briefly soaked in the juice of half a lemon giving them a burst of sweet and sour all at once, slivers of carrot, thinly sliced radishes and cucumber and spinach leaves, dressed with olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper, a perfect sharp contrast to the rich quiche.
As you can see, this leaves plenty when there are only two of you, you could make it when you have a lot of people round but then you’d be missing out on all those gorgeous leftovers!