In The Death of the Heart, Elizabeth Bowen wrote in 1938 “It is about five o’clock in an evening that the first hour of Spring strikes – Autumn arrives in the early morning..”
I found this to be true arising early to capture the sunrise on the first official day of Autumn, and as I looked out suddenly the first trees had turned orange, crimson and red, overnight.
The farmers’ markets are overflowing with pumpkins, squash of all types and the delicious root vegetables rich from the deep Earth, incubated all through the long sunny summer months.
Leeks, turnips, potatoes, and pungent fresh horseradish. The boughs of trees in the orchards are weighted down heavily with apples, pears, figs and quince but also fresh walnuts and hazelnuts. The spinach is dark green with firm strong leaves creating and colorful contrast.
Gone are the cooling tomato and watermelon salads bringing cooling freshness; the first comfort food blending the incredible harvest flavors reach my table and I can rejoice in my favorite season as I create with Earth’s bounty.
This quiche reflects all the elements of the Autumn or Fall as some call it, season. Light puff pastry is covered in a layer of crunchy caramelized walnuts flavored with one of my favorite spice mixes: Ethiopian Butter Spice Mix, a heady combination of finely ground Cayenne pepper, curcuma, cardamom, Ceylon cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
A cream of cooked spinach leaves, fresh goat cheese, Roquefort, eggs, horseradish, Dijon mustard and cream is blended and poured over the walnuts. The top layer features slices of butternut squash and pears which have also been caramelized with brown sugar and the spice mix. Finely grated Pecorino give the quiche it’s golden shine.
This quiche can be eaten hot or cold – and was marvelous even on the third day, the flavors releasing a heady deliciousness reminiscent of the Autumn colors.
You can find the recipe and step-by-step instructions on the Steller story below!