Oyster Mushroom and Zucchini Quiche with Strawberry Frisée Salad

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Bacon bits, melted cheese chunks, cream and onions in flaky puff-pastry, anyone? The quintessential French comfort food - mac n’cheese-style. Very tasty for sure! But with spring at our door, as I was browsing through Helen’s fresh-looking salads, I thought that a lighter, tart-like version would be more appropriate! Of course, I did not forget any bacon, cheese or onions, but the stars of this quiche are oyster mushrooms and zucchini. I would have gone for cremini mushrooms, I just could not resist their velvety and delicate texture when I saw them. The small zucchini were also too tempting to ignore.

The highlight of the vinaigrette is Angostura bitters, which are an essential, sweet and not bitter at all, ingredient in the perfect Manhattan. Their sweetness, combined with fresh, juicy strawberries and savoury celery, moderates the mild bitterness of the frisée, making a perfect counterpoint for the quiche.

Ingredients for a 9x13 inch quiche:

1 package frozen puff pastry (No time to mess around this time!)

2 cups oyster mushrooms

1 red pepper

3 small zucchini

1 small red onion

1 medium onion

4 slices pancetta

2 tablespoons capers

1 teaspoon nutmeg

4 eggs

1½ cup milk

¼ cup grated parmesan, preferably grana padano, or gruyere

Fresh Italian parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the salad:

A few leaves of frisée lettuce

1 cup strawberries

2 stalks celery

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1-2 drops Angostura bitters

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Line a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper.

2. Roll the puff pastry and transfer into the paper.

3. Slice mushrooms, pepper, zucchini, red onion and scatter over the dough.

4. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat.

5. Brown then drain the pancetta on paper towel.

6. Slice, sauté the onion in the pancetta drippings, until caramelized.

7. Scatter pancetta and caramelized onion over the vegetables.

8. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

9. In a bowl, lightly beat eggs, milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper using a fork.

10. Pour the egg mixture onto the filling and spread on the cheese, out to the edges.

11. Bake for 30-45 mins, until the filling is set and begins to brown.

12. While baking the quiche, wash, tear off and let drain the frisée.

13. Wash and chop strawberries and celery.

14. In a salad bowl, whisk together vinegar, bitters, olive oil, salt and pepper.

15. Before serving, toss the frisée, strawberries and celery into the vinaigrette.

16. Bon appétit!

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