When beautiful fresh-from-the-ground food comes my way, it inspires me! It makes me want to get my camera out to take photos, and it makes me want to cook (and then of course eat). 🙂 A couple of weeks back within the space of a day or so I was given some gorgeous purple broccoli by one green thumb friend, and some asparagus kale by another, and as I headed home with my bounty at the end of that week, I could feel a special weekend brunch coming on.
Despite the fact that I learned to love most vegetables later in life, I have always loved broccoli. The vibrancy and vitality of this purple broccoli just sent my salivary glands into overdrive!
The health benefits of this cruciferous vegetable are out of this world. Like regular green broccoli, it is chock full of many vitamins, but especially C, K, A and most of the Bs. It’s a good source of calcium and potassium, as well as iron, magnesium, zinc and more (as most green vegetables are). It’s high in fibre and many phytonutrients that are protective against cancer.
Kale is a similarly power-packed food. This particular variety – asparagus kale – is new to me, but its beautiful, fresh stalks, just picked, were such a delight. It was much more tender than other types of kale I have had, so much so that it really didn’t need much massaging to soften it up.
I didn’t want to miss out on its vitality by cooking it, so I tossed it with a tahini dressing and made it into a side salad – a perfect accompaniment for the quiche idea I had percolating in my brain. Once I’d tasted it I was extra happy that my friend had also gifted me some seeds for this lovely plant!
Next I got to work on the quiche. I used almonds, chia and pumpkin seeds for a nutrient-packed crust, and tofu mixed with a whole load of veggies for the main body, with some added nooch and apple cider vinegar to up the cheesy factor. The grated carrot really helped to bulk it up and make the tofu melt into the background. The result was truly spectacular! I included not only the featured purple broccoli (which turned green upon cooking), but also some fresh rosemary and oregano from my own garden. The flavour and texture were spot on. What a spring delight!
But don’t take my word for it – try this yourself! It also makes a lovely dinner; as there are only 2 in my family, we enjoyed leftovers for lunches and dinners, and the quiche kept beautifully for several days, until we had the chance to eat it all.
Cheesy Purple Broccoli Quiche
for the crust:
- 1 tbsp chia + 3 tablespoons water, mixed together
- 1/2 cup whole almonds, ground
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, ground
- 3/4 cup oat flour
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried marjoram
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp water
for the filling:
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 2-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp water for sautéing
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 generous cups sliced crimini mushrooms
- 1 cup shredded carrot (packed)
- 1 heaping cup of purple broccoli, or broccolini
- 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, rehydrated and chopped
- ½ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup chives, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a round 9-inch pie pan.
- Make the crust first:
- whisk together chia and water mixture in a small bowl and set aside to gel
- in your food processor, grind the almonds and pumpkin seeds into a flour, then put them into a large bowl with the oat flour, herb/spice mix and salt
- add the chia mixture and oil. Stir until mostly combined, adding the water until the dough is sticky – it should stick together when you press it between your fingers
- crumble the dough evenly over the base of the pie pan and press the mixture evenly into the pan, working your way outward and up the sides of the pan. Poke a few fork holes in the dough so air can escape
- bake the crust at 350F for about 10 minutes, or until firm to touch. Set aside to cool.
- Increase oven temperature to 375F.
- Now make the filling:
- Break the tofu apart and place it into the food processor. Process until it starts to break up, then add the vinegar (start with 2 tbsp). It will get smooth and creamy. Add salt and nutritional yeast and process until smooth; if you find it is dry and you need another tbsp of vinegar, add it as well. Set aside.
- In a large frying pan add water and sauté the onion over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and garlic and cook on medium-high heat until most of the water has cooked off the mushrooms, about 10 minutes. Stir in the carrots, sundried tomatoes, broccoli and herbs and mix until combined. Cook until the greens are just wilted.
- Remove from heat and stir in the tofu mix until thoroughly combined. Adjust seasoning to taste if desired. Spoon mixture into baked crust and smooth out with a spoon until even.
- Grind some black pepper over the top of the pie.
- Bake the tart, uncovered, at 375F for about 35 minutes, until it is firm to the touch. When the tart is finished, cool for 15 minutes on a cooling rack before slicing. Serve with salsa, oven-roasted potatoes and kale salad for a spectacular finish!
If you try it, let me know what you think in the comments below, and if you make great adaptations, I’d love to hear about it. Happy cooking! 🙂