Green Asparagus & Fresh Basil Quiche
This is a delectable recipe for asparagus quiche from my mother that I've adapted to work in the my combination steam oven. You're really in for a treat, because my mother is a phenomenal cook who ran her own successful catering company for years. She's been experimenting with meatless recipes ever since my sister (who's a vegetarian) moved back home.
I don't often cook quiche. Though I don't know why not, they're easy enough to make. You can bake a quiche in advance and either reheat it or serve it room temperature. They also freeze really well, so if you've got one of those huge trunk freezers, you might want to consider doubling this recipe and freezing one quiche for a day when you don't have time to cook.
A quiche is really just an open-faced savory custard baked in a pastry crust, and is wonderful served at brunch, for lunch or even for a light dinner. The base recipe is extremely versatile and you can completely change the flavor of the custard by changing out the ingredients. I love using up leftovers in quiches. Once you've got quiche making mastered there's no reason to ever make the same quiche twice (unless you want to, of course). This one is loaded with crisp green asparagus which is at peak freshness in the spring. I used a base of béchamel sauce, sometimes called white sauce, which I prepared on the stove.
You can either use a traditional fluted quiche pan with a removable bottom or a spring-form pan. Line your quiche pan with a pastry crust (I cheated and actually used a store bought crust).
This will easily serve 6-8 people.
Ingredients for Bechamel Sauce
- 4 tbs. butter
- 1 small onion, chopped finely
- 6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 tbs. flour
- 3 c. milk
- salt & pepper
Directions for Béchamel Sauce
The trick to a good béchamel sauce is all in the wrist. You must whisk and whisk and whisk.
Add butter to a heavy bottomed pan and melt over medium heat on the stove. You don't want the butter popping and snapping (it will spritz if its too hot and it also burns easily). When its melted, add the onions and sauté until translucent then whisk in the flour. Don't stop whisking until its thick and smooth.
Slowly add about a cup of milk, whisking all the while. The mixture will temporarily thin out. Don't stop whisking. Make sure to scrape along the bottom and the sides of the pan. When you feel the béchamel start to thicken up again add more milk. Continue like this until all the milk has been added. The consistency should be like a thick milk shake. One way to tell if its thick enough is the spoon test. If the béchamel coats a spoon its just about ready. At this point you can add the garlic, salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and let sit for a minute while you tend to the filling.
Ingredients for Quiche Filling
- 6 large eggs
- fresh terragon
- fresh basil
- 1 lb. green asparagus, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 c. shredded flavorful cheese such as Gruyere
Directions for Quiche
Beat the eggs until they are light and fluffy and set aside.
Slowly add the bechamel sauce to the eggs stirring all the while. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the herbs, asparagus and cheese. Pour the mixture into the crust and pop it into the oven. Set the oven to a combination of hot air and steam, temperature 170 C. or 340 F. and bake for 45 minutes.
The top of the quiche should be golden brown and the filling should be firm but not hard. Serve with a green salad.
Nutritional Info for Asparagus
Asparagus one of my very favorite vegetables; it's delicious and very low in cholesterol and sodium. One cup, or 180 gr., only has 32 calories and it will supply 6% of the daily requirement for iron, 29% of what you need for vitamin A and 73% of your daily requirement for vitamin C. In addition, its also a great source of magnesium and zinc, dietary fiber, protein, vitamins E, and K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium.
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