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Story - Food

Apr 19, 2019 3:43 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Welcome Spring With Radishes And Quiches

Radishes are in season at the farmers markets. JANEEN SARLIN
Apr 22, 2019 1:57 PM

Radishes, which are beginning to take center stage at the farmers markets, are full of fiber and vitamin C. The red globes are cousins of the cabbage and they pack a peppery bite to liven up everything on our plate. Look for radishes with unblemished leaves still attached to bright smooth radishes. Cut off the tops when home and store in a plastic bag in refrigerator. Apart from crudités or adding them to a salad, make a savory radish spread for crostini or crackers or a riata to accompany a curry dish.

I yearn for a spinach and leek quiche in the spring. It’s ideal for brunch on the weekend, perfect for a light supper after the theater, or as a hors d’oeuvre if you bake it in a jelly roll pan. Add a tasty green salad with radishes and pour a glass of sparkling rose or crisp sauvignon blanc to complete the brunch or supper.

Bon appetit!

Leek And Spinach Quiche(11-inch tart serves 6)For the crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (1 stick), divided into tablespoons

1 egg, beaten

About 2 tablespoons cold water

About 1/4 cup shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese

For the filling:

2 tablespoons avocado oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 large shallots, chopped

2 leeks, white parts only, chopped

1, 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and well drained or 2 quarts fresh spinach leaves, washed, spun dry, and coarsely chopped

About 1 tablespoon each chopped fresh basil, thyme, and flat leaf parsley

2 eggs, beaten

2 egg whites, beaten

1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream

1/2 to 1 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional: Pinch red pepper flakes

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheeseTo prepare:For the crust: In the bowl of the food processor fitted with the stainless steel blade, add the flour and salt. Process 3 or 4 pulses, add butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and make a “well” in the center. In a small bowl, beat the egg until frothy, add a tablespoon cold water and whisk until blended. Pour the egg/water into the “well” and with a table fork pull the liquid through the flour mixture. Add more water as necessary until the mixture forms a ball. Wrap the ball with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Working on a floured flat surface, roll out the dough out to a 12-inch circle and transfer to an 11-inch tart pan. Turn the overhanging pastry back, pressing it into the sides of the pan. With a table fork, prick the crust, then line the pan with aluminum foil and freeze for 30 minutes.

For a pre-baked shell, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the frozen tart shell with the foil directly in the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for three minutes. Scatter shredded cheese onto the hot crust and cool on a rack. Can be done ahead.

For the filling: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large skillet over moderate high heat, add oil and butter. When the foam subsides, add shallots, leeks, and sauté until they are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.

If using frozen spinach, place drained spinach into a linen towel and wring out all the liquid. Add spinach (fresh or frozen) to the leek and shallots and sauté, stirring constantly until all the liquid from the spinach evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add fresh herbs, nutmeg, pepper and pepper flakes, stir well to blend, and cook until aromatic. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a bowl or large measuring cup, whisk eggs and egg whites together until frothy, add heavy cream and milk and blend. Stir spinach/leeks into the egg mixture until well mixed. Pour the filling into the pre-baked crust and sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese.

Bake until a table knife comes out clean when inserted into the center, the quiche is puffed and browned on top, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand about 4 minutes before cutting into serving-size portions. Savory Radish Spread(Makes about 1 cup)6 to 8 radishes with stems attached

2 sticks unsalted butter, soft

Zest of one lemon or more to taste

Freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 tablespoons) or more to taste

Sea salt to taste

Baguette, thinly slicedTo prepare:Trim off the stem and root ends of the radishes, wash under cold running water, and drain well. Mince the radishes and set aside.

In a medium bowl, add butter and beat until it becomes light and creamy. Add minced radishes, lemon zest and juice, taste, and adjust the flavorings and add salt to taste.

Transfer the mixture to two ramekins, level the top, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate up to three days.

To serve, remove radish spread from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Meanwhile, toast the baguette and serve with the spread. Radish Raita(Yields 2 cups)5 to 6 red radishes, leaves trimmed, washed

2 cups plain 2% Greek yogurt

About 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or more to taste

2 to 3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped

Optional: Sea salt to tasteTo prepare:Place the yogurt in a bowl. With a wire whisk stir about one tablespoon lemon juice into the yogurt. Grate the radishes into a bowl. With a spoonful at a time, stir radishes into the yogurt. Stir mint into the yogurt. Whisk vigorously until blended. Taste and adjust the seasonings with lemon juice. Serve as condiment with meats and curries.

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