Edible Blue Ridge — Spring 2012
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The Local [Asparagus Quiche]

PHOTO BY ANDREA HUBBELL

Get a load of this version with locally raised eggs, asparagus, and fresh goat cheese. Even real men will want seconds.

Springtime is in the air? It's even better on your fork.

ASPARAGUS–GOAT CHEESE QUICHE

When making the dough for the crust, keep everything as cold as possible (butter, bowl, flour) to ensure flaky results.

Serves 6

2 1/2 cups all-purpose fl our
1 tsp. salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and kept cold
Tall glass ice water
1 small leek, white and light-green parts sliced and rinsed to remove grit
Extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bunch asparagus (about 14 spears), trimmed and blanched
6 to 8 ounces goat cheese, broken into pieces
10 leaves Thai basil, chopped, plus more for garnish
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup half-and-half or cream

1. In a medium bowl, stir together flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, work butter into flour until resembles coarse meal. Add water a few Tbsp. at a time, until dough comes together as a ball (don't overwork it). Cut ball in half, and cover each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 400°F. On a floured surface, roll out one ball of dough to 1/4 inch thick. Place in pie dish, remove excess, and crimp edges. Return to refrigerator. (The second ball of dough can be used for any sweet or savory pie recipe of your choice.)

3. Meanwhile, sauté leek in a drizzle of oil over medium-low. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft and translucent.

4. Chop 8 asparagus spears into 1/4-inch pieces. Trim 6 more so that they will fit in the pie dish like bicycle spokes, radiating outward from the center.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk together half-and-half, milk, eggs, basil, a pinch of salt, and black pepper. Stir in leeks and chopped asparagus.

6. Remove dough from refrigerator. Place half of goat cheese pieces on bottom, then pour in milk mixture, making sure the vegetables are evenly distributed.

7. Bake for 25 minutes, until slightly set. Remove from oven, and place remaining goat cheese pieces and asparagus spears in a decorative pattern on top. Return to oven for 20 to 25 more minutes, until set. Let cool 10 minutes; garnish with more Thai basil. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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