The Farmers’ Market in St Andrews takes place on the first Saturday morning of every month. I’ve never quite managed to make it – either I’ve forgotten that it’s happening and made other plans, been put off by foul weather or accidentally overslept. But after living in St Andrews for 3 ½ years, I finally got my act together, and went with Craig on Saturday. Ya, I know, 3 ½ years – about time! I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of produce! I could happily have bought about half the market, but luckily managed to restrict myself to a jar of Mojito jelly, some Feta-stuffed red peppers and two types of cheddar. This was obviously due to my brilliant self-control and had nothing to do with forgetting to check that I had enough cash with me (because I would never be that supremely disorganised, nope, not me). The stuffed peppers went into a salad for lunch, but I haven’t made any specific plans for the jelly yet – I’ll blog about it when I do. For today though, I would really just like to share my love for the cheddar with you.
The Isle of Arran Cheese Shop had a stand with different flavoured cheddars, including herbed ones (chives, etc.), a mustard cheddar, a smoked oak one and even a chilli flake cheddar. But the two that caught my eye were the Arran whisky cheddar and the claret cheddar. I’ve tried their “normal” cheddar before and liked it, so I would probably have bought them anyway, but we were able to taste them and they turned out to be even more marvellous than I’d expected. There was no way I was leaving the stand empty-handed (thank goodness Craig lent me some money or this could have been a bit of an issue) and I ended up taking three cheddars (one whisky and two clarets) home with me…
On Sunday, Kat and Craig came over to do some data analysis for one of our modules, but since we’re practically incapable of doing anything that doesn’t involve food, it made sense for us to start off with lunch. This was obviously the perfect occasion to share some of my newly-acquired Farmers’ Market cheddar in the form of a claret cheddar and onion quiche. Oh yes. It turned out rather delicious. That’s really all there is to say about it, ha ha. I wish I could take all the credit for it, but when you use good quality, super-tasty ingredients, it’s difficult to go wrong with them (unless you burn them, obviously, or do something really weird).
Cheddar & onion quiche
Serves 6-8 as a starter, 4 as a main course
Recipe from my imagination
This quiche works as a starter, lunch or light dinner, and can be served warm or cold. Whether you choose to use a flavoured cheddar or not, make sure you pick one that has taste! I added rosemary because I had some sprigs in the freezer (it freezes well) and it goes with my chosen cheddar, but if you’re using a different flavoured cheddar, make sure to change the herbs to match it.
Quiche pastry (click for recipe)
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
4 tbsp crème fraîche
2 long sprigs of fresh rosemary (about 2 tbsp of stripped fresh leaves)
250g of cheddar, grated
2 tsp Dijon mustard (optional)
1. Roll out the pastry to about 3-4mm thickness and line a well-buttered 24 or 26cm tarte tin with it. Trim the edges and prick the pastry with a fork. Leave to rest in the fridge for about 30 mins whilst you prepare the quiche filling. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
2. Roughly dice the onion and chop the garlic cloves. Sauté them in some oil until softened and just golden.
3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add the crème fraîche, the stripped rosemary leaves (I was a bit short on time, so I didn’t chop the leaves, but you can if you’re really motivated) and some pepper and mix well. Add 200g of the grated cheddar and the (fairly) cooled onions and garlic and mix well. Add a little more crème fraîche if you feel this is necessary.
4. Remove the tarte tin from the fridge, spread the mustard thinly over the base (this is optional, but it helps to bring out the flavours in the quiche), pour the cheddar and onion mix over the top and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheddar over the top.
5. Cook for 30-40mins, until the pastry is golden and a toothpick comes out clean (if the top is getting a little too brown, cover with tin foil). Serve hot or cold with a simple salad on the side.