Spring can’t come any sooner! When I go to the market these days I mostly pick up apples, maybe some potatoes. However, I’ve discovered the wonders of farm fresh eggs. I never thought much of buying eggs at the market. Which seems silly because why wouldn’t you want to buy eggs right from the farmer? After this week’s market eggs, I’m a convert. They are extra egg-tastic than regular eggs! (One of my nicknames in Eggy, so I consider myself an egghead of sorts.) The yolks are a stunning yellow, and the flavor is outta this world…if you’re into eggs this is the next step.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of eggs is quiche. It’s one of the first French dishes I ever mastered, and it’s so simply delicious! Everyone should have at least one quiche dish they can serve. I especially love it for date night. Dim the lights, pour some wine, cut the quiche, and your transported to Paris! I’ve chosen leeks and asparagus for this quiche because it reminds me of my Parisian friend Blandine. When we lived together she would make leeks all the time, and I think of her when ever I cook with them. I also can’t stop buying bunches of them at market!
Let’s get egged!
Leek & Asparagus Quiche
This make one 8 inch quiche, serves two for a main dish.
First, make the crust. Combine 1 cup flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp dried thyme and 1/2 cup butter in a food processor with dough blade. Plus until you get a little peas, then add about 3 Tablespoons ice water until the dough forms into a ball. Plop the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and gently kneed to fully incorporate the butter. Wrap in plastic and let chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. You can make this a day or two ahead of time as well.
What you’ll need: One crust recipe, 2 eggs plus two yolks, 1/2 cup heavy cream, a dash of nutmeg, one leek, a handful of asparagus, 2 ounces of gruyere cheese, and an 8 inch fluted quiche pan with removable bottom.
Roll out the pastry to about 10 inches in diameter, and place in your pan. Score the bottom with a fork. Place in the freezer while your oven preheats to 400°F. This helps the sides from slipping, but it still may happen! Blind bake the crust for about 15 minutes with pie weights, and then another 10 with the weights removed. Let cool slightly.
While the pastry is blind baking in the oven, cook the veggies. Thinly slice the leeks and chop the asparagus into 1 inch pieces. Cook over medium in a little olive oil until the asparagus can be pierced with a fork, but not too soft. Remove from pan and let cool a bit. Also, grate the cheese.
Whisk together the eegs, yolks, and heavy cream. In a pinch I’ve used three whole eggs without the addition of the yolks, but do what feels right to you. Sometimes you only have three eggs! Season the egg mixture with salt, pepper, and a dash of nutmeg–this enhances the cheese flavor. I have a friend who adds a dash of mustard to the mix instead of the nutmeg and its very tasty as well.
Fill the cooled crust with the veggies and spread them into an even layer. Add the cheese next, leaving a bit to sprinkle on the top. Now this is the important part: place the veggie filled crust on a baking sheet and place on an oven shelf. Then pour the egg mixture into the pastry, filling it to the top. Then sprinkle the extra cheese on top. Gently slide the oven shelf into place and shut that door. This little trick ensures limited egg spillage!
Bake the quiche for about 20-25 minutes at 400°F, until the center is firm but has some wiggle.
Let the quiche cool for about 10 minutes before cutting into. Also, the pastry should holds its form so you can remove it from the baking pan. I usually serve it with a side of dressed greens or stewed tomatoes. Something light, fresh to cut through the richness will do the trick!
What I love about quiche is that it can be served for any meal: weekend brunch, ladies lunch, or a candlelit dinner! Embrace the quiche, and you won’t look back!