Yesterday while I was at the hardware store, I struck gold when I discovered that they had local eggs for sale. I’d been hoping to find a source for them, and it turns out there are lots! When I got home, I told Ann (who owns the farm) about my find and she said “Oh yeah- you can get them anywhere! They sell them at my gym!” I love farming communities…
It was perfect, because the other day I came across a delicious looking recipe in an issue of Everyday Food that looked perfect- asparagus quiche. I don’t know that there is anything that screams “SPRING” quite like that. I made it last night (after hours weeding the asparagus patch- how appropriate) and it was even better than I thought it would be!
*a disclaimer about my recipes- I don’t tend to follow any true measurements. I’m more of an “eh- that looks about right” kinda girl. These are close approximations.
Asparagus Quiche – Adapted from an Everyday Food recipe
- 1 Bunch of Asparagus (mine ended up being about 2 1/2 cups when chopped)
- 1 large leek
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped (or a little more, or a little less. I LOVE garlic, and mine is sprouting like crazy, so I’m trying to use it up. This was pretty garlicky)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup milk or half and half
- 1 cup+ shredded cheese (the original recipe calls for Gruyère, which is a really nice swiss cheese. I had Monterey jack, so I used that and it was excellent- the tang of the cheese contrasted well with the asparagus. I think it would be just as good with a nice sharp cheddar. I also had some small pieces of nice Asiago and Pecorino Romano, so I threw a few tablespoons of each of those in as well. Listen, we are talking about cheese here- anything you put in will be delicious. Also: more is better!)
- 1 tbsp butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pie crust (I used the Pilsbury pre-made ones from the grocery store)
1. Preheat your oven to 350. If you have an oven that heats from the top, put a rack in the bottom of the oven- you don’t want the quiche too close to the element.
2. Rinse and chop your asparagus and leeks. Asparagus cut into small, diagonal pieces, leeks quartered and thinly sliced. Chop your garlic.
- Here’s how to prep ANY asparagus: Hold a spear up with one hand and the very bottom and one hand just below the tip- bend the asparagus until the snaps. The bottom end is yucky and old and stringy- don’t use that! The top end is glorious and yummy and fresh. some of them will snap close to the bottom and others close to the top. Short pieces are upsetting, I know, but you don’t want tough asparagus. Save the old, yucky ends for vegetable scrap stock!
- How to wash leeks: Cut off those big glorious green leaves- you just want to use the white parts. DON’T cut off the end- that holds everything together for washing. Slice the whole shebang in half, along the full length of the leek. You now have two halves of the leek, with all the layers nestling together. You can run these under the water to rinse them, and the end cap will keep everything together. It is very neat that way!
3. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Saute the asparagus, leeks, and garlic for a few minutes, stirring frequently. You don’t want to overcook anything- this is just giving the veggies a head start on the cooking they will do in the oven. When the asparagus starts looking really bright and the leeks are fragrant, you’re done. Remove from heat
4. Roll out your pie crust in the pie pan- have it waiting to receive.
5. Whisk the eggs and milk together. The original recipe here calls for half and half, but I just used 2% milk. It WAS a little bit watery, so perhaps whole milk would have been just fine. It didn’t bother me, but if you think it would bother you, I’d use the half and half. Season the egg and milk mixture to taste. I used about a tsp each of black pepper and salt, but I am not a huge salt eater so you may like more. Mix the cheese into the egg mixture- stir well to make sure it isn’t a big giant lump of cheese in the bottom of your bowl.
6. Pour the veggies into the pie dish and spread evenly over the bottom. Pour the egg/milk/cheese mixture on top of the veggies, making sure to get some cheese on every part. Put your pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet (it may bubble over) and put it in the oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the center is set and no longer wobbly.
We had this for dinner, but it would be magnificent for brunch. Both of us ate two pieces. I’m probably going to go eat some more for breakfast this morning. This is asparagus season! Take advantage of it, and try this quiche!