Goat Cheese Quiche
‘In France, milk is for infants, and a glass of milk with the meal is inconceivable – except to a much publicized former French premier.’
‘The French don’t like vegetables. This is why they make them taste so good.’
It’s one of the best things about reading old cookbooks – they are so unabashedly opinionated. Take Fernande Garvin, author of the 1958 The Art of French Cooking. ‘What surprises the French tourist in the United States is, “The meals are so light that you leave the table still hungry – but then, Americans never stop eating all day long.”
Throughout his interweaving of commentary and recipes, Garvin stressed the importance of ingredients judiciously chosen.
‘There is a French saying, “L’exces en tout est defaut” (Excess is always a fault), which best describes the French way of cooking…When a French cook uses cream, or wine, or brandy, or herbs, it is not because they are tasty but because they bring out the flavor of meat or fish, for instance, and become themselves more delicate and different in cooking… If the flavor of one of the ingredients stands out, the dish is a failure.’
In his section on Hors-d’Oeuvre, Garvin offers up multiple serving options for Eggs – on Canape, Stuffed, and for Cheese – Fondue au Fromage, Roquefort Canapes, Croque-Monsieur. For Olives, he suggests: ‘Green olives, plain; or stuffed with pimiento, anchovies, or almonds. Black olives sprinkled with a few drops of olive oil.’
Garvin offers two recipe options for Quiche – Roquefort and Lorraine. The latter, we must note, includes 3 slices of Canadian bacon, 1/4 inch thick, diced.
Though untraditional – and we should add that the first quiche is thought to have been created in medieval Lothringen, Germany – Garvin might just approve of the delicious Roasted Tomato + Goat Cheese Quiche at Coco e Olive on Main Street. It has that clean appreciation of fresh ingredients you find in even the simplest of French delis, that ‘balance of flavors’ that Garvin so emphasizes.
‘Since cooking is an art,’ says Garvin, ‘the French approach eating with the same attitude as they would a painting or a concert: it should principally satisfy the sense involved. Smell is nearly as important as taste…Sight is important only in that it should not be offended and disturbed by an unpleasant sensation.’
Check, check and check. This Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Quiche easily passes Garvin’s sense and taste test. Well worth a try.
Written by Elizabeth Newton
Header Photo: Léonard Cotte
Photo #2: John Towner