So it’s spring time and that means ASPARAGUS SEASON! Asparagus is probably my favorite vegetable (and my fiance’s too) so it makes frequent appearances on the dinner table. I usually grill the asparagus with some olive oil, lemon pepper, and garlic. So easy and YUM!
So, this week Jeff and I went to Sam’s Club to stock up our freezer and pantry and we saw huge bundles of asparagus. I usually shy away from Sam’s Club produce, they tend to be over ripe on the verge of rotting… ewwww. But the asparagus that day was pencil thin and beautiful. So I did the usual grilling the first night but had lots of asparagus left over. And it being Easter Sunday, I thought quiche! Vegetables, eggs, cheese, pastry…. what’s not to like?!
Here’s the base recipe I use and just switch out the filling ingredients based on what I have on hand. The crust is a bit different from the traditional pastry crust because it has an egg in it. I find that the egg makes the crust crispier, even after sitting in the fridge and reheating the next day (which is important since me and Jeff can’t eat a whole quiche in one sitting). This time around I made the crust with half all-purpose flour and half wheat flour, mostly because I ran out of AP… oops. It turned out nice though, sort of crumbly with a nice nutty taste to compliment the asparagus.
Adapted from FoodNetwork
- 1 1/3 cups flour
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 to 3 tablespoons iced water
In a medium bowl, combine flour and butter with a pastry cutter. If you don’t have a pastry cutter, you can use two butter knives or your fingers (if you don’t have warm hands), the goal is to incorporate the butter without melting it. Once the butter is broken into small, pea-sized bits, mix in the egg and salt. You can probably whisk up the egg before you mix it into the flour but I’m lazy and usually skip that step. Next add in the water one tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together. Turn the dough out into some plastic wrap and form into a disc. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to two days.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove dough from plastic wrap and roll out to fit a pie pan. Place the rolled out dough in a 9in. pie pan and form the crust. I like to make a nice tall edge to keep in the egg mixture. Prick the bottom of the pie shell liberally with a fork to avoid any puffing. Place a sheet of foil in the shell and fill with beans, rice or pie weights also to avoid puffing. We don’t want a puffy crust. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until the pie shell begins to feel firm. Let cool slightly before you fill.
Adapted from FoodNetwork
- 3 large eggs*
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, half and half, or milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Mix the eggs, dairy, salt, and pepper in a large measuring cup with a pour spout, this will help to pour the mixture in the pie shell. *Note: if I’m using milk, I add another egg so the mixture isn’t too runny.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion
- Bundle of asparagus, reserve 8 stalks for the top
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2-3 slices Swiss cheese
Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Slice the onion into thin half moon shapes and caramelize in the butter-oil mixture. Be careful and cook it slowly…. I made the mistake of walking away and my onions got a little too dark too quickly, but they still tasted good. So don’t be like me and watch your onions. When onions are nice and brown, remove them from the pan and put aside. Next chop up the asparagus into 1/4 inch circles, remembering to reserve 8 of them. Melt another tablespoon of butter in the skillet and add the asparagus, salt and pepper to taste, and cook until slightly tender, you still want a little crunch since they will continue to cook in the oven.
Heat the oven to 350°F. Now it’s time to fill the crust!! Scatter the caramelized onions and chopped asparagus in the bottom of the crust. Sprinkle both cheeses over the vegetables. Pour half of the egg mixture over the vegetables without disturbing them too much. Put the quiche in the oven for 10 minutes until just set.
While that is working in the oven, melt the last tablespoon of butter in the skillet and cook the reserved asparagus just to soften slightly, about 3-4 minutes. When the 10 minutes are up, take the quiche out of the oven and arrange the whole asparagus on top like spokes on a wheel. Carefully pour the rest of the egg mixture on top. Put back in the oven for another 25-30 minutes, just until the center is set and not jiggly.
If you can wait, I would recommend letting it cool for 10-15 minutes so it firms up a bit before cutting. But I usually can’t wait…. Mmmmm so good!