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The Land of Living Skies boasts a diverse culinary landscape, and Naomi Hansen’s debut book Only in Saskatchewan pays tribute to the people and places that have elevated the food scene of this prairie province. By sharing recipes, stories and the history of the most beloved cafes, bakeries and eateries, Naomi shines a spotlight on the excellent ingredients – and those who know how to best prepare them – right in our own backyard.
With gorgeous photography by Garrett Kendal, you’ll want to hop in your car to eat the 641 Grill & Motel’s Craven Burger and recreate Picaro’s Northern Pike Fish Tacos in your own kitchen. Informative and inspiring, Only in Saskatchewan is a valuable resource if you’re planning to explore the province this summer. But if you can’t eat there in person, the recipes will do the next best thing.
As I flipped through the book, I instantly fell in love with the Cheddar Tomato Quiche from the Tea Room in Rosthern. Having had the pleasure of eating at the historic Station Arts Centre, a slice of quiche was always something I thoroughly enjoyed for lunch. For more than 30 years, the restaurant area of the station functioned as the tea room, offering lunch and dessert. Homemade bread and fresh soups were always on the menu; well done right from the start. In 2021, the retirement of management brought an end to the Tea Room era, but the Station has plans to continue offering food in the future. I hope the Coconut Cream Pie makes a comeback.
This quiche was a Tea Room favorite and featured regularly on their menu board. With summer fresh Roma tomatoes and basil, it’s easy to see why it was a crowd pleaser. The cornmeal in the crust is a nice touch. It adds a nice textural contrast to the creamy, cheesy filling. Cheddar is the cheese of choice here, but honestly I think any cheese, or any combination thereof, would be delicious. The same goes for the herbs. This recipe uses dried basil, but I prefer to use fresh basil if I have some in my vegetable garden. If your basil plant refuses to produce (there has been!) replace it with fresh dill, thyme, or oregano. Serve the quiche for brunch or lunch, alongside a fresh green salad. A family favorite, this recipe was developed by former Tea Room manager Dennis Helmuth, who ran the restaurant with his sister Joan Yoder for 26 years.
Cheddar Tomato Quiche from The Tea Room
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/3 cup salted butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup cold water
2 cups medium diced Roma tomatoes
4 spring onions, diced small, or. cup diced yellow onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or 2 tablespoons chopped)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup shredded aged cheddar cheese*
3 large eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray.
2. Place the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
3. Add the butter to the bowl and cut it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until crumbly and well blended and you can see pea-sized chunks of butter. Drizzle the cold water over the mixture while stirring with a fork. Stir lightly until the mixture forms a ball.
4. Lightly dust a clean surface. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is 1/8-inch thick, then place loosely in the greased pie pan, pressing down gently. Trim the edges with a utility knife, fold or whistle.
5. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove it from the oven and set it aside while you prepare the filling. Keep the oven on.
1. Spread the tomatoes evenly over the baked crust.
2. Place the spring onions, salt, sugar, basil and pepper in a small bowl. Stir everything together and sprinkle the mixture over the tomatoes. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over everything.
3. Place the eggs, evaporated milk and flour in a small bowl and beat with a fork until there are no lumps. Pour this mixture over the grated cheese.
4. Bake the quiche on the center rack of the oven, until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown, 40-45 minutes.
5. Remove the quiche from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve immediately.
Tip: You can prepare the crust and place it in the pie shell ahead of time and keep it in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, up to 1 day before baking.
Excepted Only in Saskatchewan, by Naomi Hansen. Recipe copyright © 2022 by Station Arts Center Tea Room. Text copyright © 2022 by Naomi Hansen. Photo copyright © 2022 by Garrett Kendal.
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