Sunday, June 06, 2010

Quick Asparagus Quiche

I don't know about you, but I love asparagus. Its bright green flavor and that snap when it's perfectly cooked, preferably grilled, is such a testament to spring. But sometimes I am greedy. Every week I worry that this will be the last of the asparagus, and I often buy too much of it. And when it starts to wilt in my refrigerator, I see the error of my ways. (Not that I repent, really, I just make quiche.)

This summer I've been particularly creative in finding ways to use my abundant asparagus, including an excellent dill-riddled asparagus & potato salad. Quiche is my favorite.

Quiche is an excellent way to use any asparagus, of course, but especially the aged, less snappy ones that aren't worthy of grilling. I'm using a store-bought crust here, but feel free to make your own or roll one out of puff pastry instead. Don't judge, people. It's summer, and the heat is making me a bit lazy.

Quick Asparagus Quiche
Serves 6

1 store-bought crust, thawed if frozen

1/2# asparagus
4 eggs
about 2 cups combination of milk and cream (details below)
2 oz dill havarti (or your favorite cheese; parmesan is also good)
salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 300ยบ and place the crust on a rimmed baking sheet, just in case of spillage. When the oven is ready, bake the empty crust for 15 minutes, enough time to gather the rest of your ingredients for the recipe.

Wash asparagus and roll on a kitchen towel to dry. Cut into pieces about 1" long and set aside.

For quiche, I like to use a large liquid measuring cup for the filling. My goal is to have about a cup of vegetables and then three cups of liquids. This allows you to substitute nearly any vegetable for the asparagus and still have the quiche turn out as expected. Break the eggs into the measuring cup first and then add enough milk and cream to reach the three cup mark. I add half cream and half milk, but the quiche ends up super-smooth if you're feeling decadent and use all cream. Since this is something I make often, I use 2% milk myself. Add a big pinch of salt and a generous grinding of pepper. Chop your cheese into small cubes, and now you're ready to fill the crust.

Remove crust from oven and add the asparagus pieces. Sprinkle cheese cubes over the vegetables, then slowly pour the liquids over everything. Bake for one hour.

While I'll eat quiche any time of day, in summer I usually don't start up the oven until dinnertime, if at all. A nice green salad alongside rounds out the meal.

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