We were invited to dine in the unbelievably idyllic location of the Fork and Dig It HQ, nestled in the heart of Stanmer Park. Among beds of organic vegetables growing lusciously in the August sun and surrounded by rolling Sussex hills, we spent an evening eating Sussex-grown food and talking plants with the Fork and Dig It team. There was salad, potatoes, courgette fritters, apple tart, blackberry cake and, of course, wine…
We love to support our local community, and Fork and Dig It teach and practice sustainable agriculture while encouraging a healthy lifestyle. With wonderful land, produce, people and ethos, we definitely need more of this in the world!
Our contribution to the evening? Muir’s #EatSussex sweet dumpling squash quiche. This is (she assures me) and easy to make recipe – and has definitely been a go to this August for a delicious all-Sussex meal. It makes a satisfying lunch or dinner, accompanied by freshly picked salad leaves and sweet summer tomatoes. Follow with new season tart apples for dessert, cooked up with spices and local honey, and the taste of a Sussex summer will be imprinted in your memory…
Muir’s Festival Squash Summer Quiche
1 medium sweet dumpling squash, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
1 medium Sussex grown onion
A good bunch of spinach or chard
1½ tbsp Mesto olive oil
200g Sussex goats cheese, crumbled
1/2 jar of Quince chutney (or any fruit chutney – we will be stocking quince shortly)
150ml Sussex double cream
150ml Sussex crème fraîche
Salt and pepper
For the Pastry:
150g Lurgashall wholemeal flour
75g Southdowns Butter
4 tablespoons of water
Preheat the oven to 220ºC/200ºC Fan/Gas Mark 6.
To start, bake the festival squash with some light seasoning and olive oil, for about 30 minutes or until golden.
In the meantime, prepare the pastry. Combine the flour and butter with a pinch of salt in a food processor and blend until a crumbly butter-flour mixture is formed. Add in water little by little ad pulse until you reach a smooth, thick dough. Remove from the food processor and roll the pastry to a 3mm thickness. Place in a 24cm baking dish to cook the quiche in and chill for at least 20 minutes in the fridge.
When chilled, remove the pastry from the fridge and cover the base with the quince/fruit chutney. Add the roasted squash, spinach leaves (these will wilt down) and chunks of goat cheese. Place the eggs, cream and crème fraîche in a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk together and then pour into the quiche dish to mostly cover the squash and cheese. Saute the onions in a generous amount of olive oil to caramelized, and add to the top of the quiche mixture.
Bake for approx. 40 minutes, or until the quiche mixture has set. Remove from the oven and allow to rest before removing from the tin and enjoying!
(Vary the ingredients according to what you have/what’s in season, and this gorgeous dish is good to go all year round!)
Scenes from the evening.