I am horrible at this Facebook thing.
I resisted getting an account for ages--my friends know where I am (and if they don't I'm easily found), and I know where they are; between work, this blog and my Twitter account I spend enough of my life staring into an illuminated screen, tapping madly away at a well-worn keyboard; my innate distrust of social networking sites and the horrid marketers that lurk within.
But I have an account, mostly neglected. Like many other social networking sites I'm on, I can go ages without logging in. Often when I do, it's only to respond to a note or a friend request. Also when I do, I'm amazed at all the names the system suggests I connect with.
Take today for example. As I type, the Unseen Facebook Overlords suggest I should connect with 27 people. Normal, I suppose. The thing is, I only recognise two of them. The rest? I haven't a clue.
I imagine some of them to have some sort of connection to the people I've accepted as friends on the site...I also imagine some of them to be the equivalent of eHarmony matches...you know the highly questionable ones that only seem to be compatable because they match your gender preferences and nothing else...but in Facebookland they show up because they have a profile and you have a profile. When I remove someone from the list because there is no connection whatsoever, they are replaced with someone else...also with whom there is no connection whatsoever.
But I do check in when I get a note. And it's one of these notes that led to today's recipe. A friend asked if I had a quiche recipe that used spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes--her latest attempt didn't appeal. Hmmm....I had a tomato tart recipe and a spinach quiche recipe, so I took this as an opportunity to play in my kitchen (as if I really need to be prompted to do that) and developed this recipe.
I didn't know whether to call this a quiche or a tart. I see quiches as bits suspended in eggy cream, whereas here eggy cream binds together the spinach and mushrooms. Not wanting the quiche police (I'm sure they exist, with a rule book filled with yolk to cheese ratios) after me, I went the safer route and christened it a tart.
There aren't any real tricks to this recipe, but I will say quickly zapping the cream cheese into an oozy puddle does make easy work of mixing it into the milk and eggs. The tart itself is subtantial, but not heavy and pairs well with a small bowl of soup or a leafy salad.
Spinach, Mushroom and Tomato Tart
Makes one 20cm/8" tart
fat for frying (olive oil, butter, canola, bacon fat)
90g (0.75c) mushrooms, sliced
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic cloves, minced
300g (10oz) (1 pkg) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
100g (3.5oz) cream cheese, softened
125ml (0.5c) full fat milk
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
a good pinch of dried thyme (0.25-0.5tsp)
1 prebaked pie shell
1-2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
Sauté mushrooms, with pinches of salt and pepper, until soft. Add the shallots and stir until translucent. Add the garlic. When they release their scent, add the spinach and sauté for a few minutes. Take off the hob to cool.
Whisk the softened cream cheese, milk, mustard and eggs together until smooth. Add salt, pepper and thyme and mix well. Stir in the spinach mixture.
Pour into pie shell and top with sliced tomatoes and sprinkle, if you wish, with black pepper. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the eggs have set.
Cool on a wire rack; serve warm.
I'm a quill for hire!