Asparagus and Herb Quiche

I've always loved quiches and have been making them since I was a girl. This is a mild flavoured quiche that relies on the freshest of ingredients; of course the flavour will vary according to the herbs you use. I like to make this quiche with a peculiar mixture of herbs that grow in abundance in my garden in Spring and Summer. (So, why waste them). This quiche makes a nice supper or serve it on a more special occasion as a starter.

Portions: 6 Portions

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Filling

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 leek, white only, finely chopped
  • 1 large bunch of asparagus, washed and trimmed
  • 1 egg and 2 egg yolks
  • 100ml double cream
  • 200ml creme fraiche
  • 6 tbsp mixed herbs, finely chopped eg. mint, chives, parsley, thyme, basil oregano etc.
  • pinch nutmeg
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper

Walnut and Cheddar Cheese Pastry:

  • 90g butter
  • 180g plain flour
  • 50g strong cheddar cheese, grated
  • 50g walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp milk

To Serve

  • light salad

Method

  1. Pastry: Place the flour in a food processor with the cheese, walnuts and butter. Process the mixture until you have a bread crumb like consistency. Add the egg and 50ml milk to the mixture with the motor running. The mixture should come away from the sides and form into a dough consistency. If the dough is to dry add a little more milk or if it is to wet add a little more flour. Knead the dough for a few minutes and form it into a ball. Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour before using. To make the pastry by hand simply rub the flour with the walnuts and butter until you have a bread crumb consistency, make a well in the centre. Beat the egg with the milk and add to the well in the flour mixture. Mix the mixture together with your hands until it forms into a dough and knead for a few minutes.
  2. Roll the dough out so that it is around 5mm thick. Grease a 20cm quiche tin with the pastry and place the pastry in the refrigerate for 30 minutes before cooking.
  3. Filling: Melt the butter in a very large saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the leeks to the pan and cook them gently for 3-5 minutes until they are tender. Remove the leek from the heat and allow it to cool. Set aside until ready to use.
  4. Asparagus: Place the asparagus in a saucepan of boiling water and allow to cook at a strong simmer for a couple of minutes, until just tender. Refresh in plenty of ice cold water until cooled. Trim 8 asparagus spears to 10cm (half the size of the quiche tin), roughly chop the rest of the asparagus leaving the tips whole. Set aside until ready to use.
  5. Whisk together the eggs, cream, creme fraiche, mixed herbs, nutmeg and seasoning, until it is well combined. Set the mixture aside until ready to use. If preparing it in advance refrigerate it and mix it briefly until ready to use.
  6. To Cook: Preheat an oven to 190°C. Blind bake the pastry weighed down with the dried beans for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. The pastry should be firm but not coloured. Remove the pastry from the oven and allow it to cool slightly.
  7. Place a layer of the leeks over the base of the quiche. Scatter over the chopped asparagus (set aside the 10cm asparagus pieces). Pour over the egg mixture and place the asparagus pieces over the top in a circular motion, pushing them down slightly so that they are covered in the egg. Place the quiche on the centre shelf of the preheated oven for 30 minutes until firm to touch. Remove the quiche from the oven and allow to stand for a few minutes before removing it from the tin. Serve.
  8. To Serve: Serve the wedges of the quiche with a light salad.