Saturday, December 02, 2006

Onion market

Every last monday in november an onion market is held in Berne. There are stalls and stalls selling onions in every conceivable form: onion pleats (made with red and white onions and dried flowers, very pretty to hang up in the kitchen), little dolls and animals made from onions, necklaces consisting of small onions instead of pearls - you name it. Legend has it that the onion market was a way for the Bernese to thank the people from the nearby town of Fribourg for helping them rebuild the town after it partially burned down in 1405. A lovely story but in all likeliness not true. The origins of the market remain unknown.

One thing is for sure though: there is no onion market without onion quiche. I made my own this year, everything from scratch, even the pastry.

Onion quiche (serves 2)

  • shortcrust pastry for a medium-sized round baking tray
  • 3 large onions, finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • three tablespoons low-fat fromage frais
  • a few lugs of milk
  • salt, pepper and nutmeg
Roll out the pastry and arrange in the baking tray. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and slowly fry the onions over low heat until they are soft. Do not let them brown. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Mix the fromage frais, egg and milk. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Scatter the onions onto the pastry and pour the egg-mixture on top. Bake in the preheated oven (220°) for about 30 minutes or until golden.

Serve with a robust-leaved salad with a warm dressing (I used red wine vinegar, olive oil, malaga, raisins and pumpkin seeds, all quickly heated in a small saucepan) and some chutney.

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