As we say goodbye to the frosty winter and welcome the hope of spring with open arms, it’s time to start thinking about what tasty seasonal vegetables we can cook with.
This cheesy springtime quiche is the perfect main event for a light Sunday lunch. Or treat yourself in the week and take a slice to work with a leafy green salad on the side.
Asparagus is very much a springtime vegetable; the British asparagus season traditionally runs from April until June.
The tangy flavour of the fresh and tender green vegetable stems offset the rich and creamy cheddar cheese in this quiche beautifully. But I think my favourite element has got to be the cheese pastry. It adds an extra dimension to the tart; a subtle richness to the crust. What a treat.
I served this dish on Mother’s Day with an aubergine and chickpea salad, as well as a mixture of rocket, spinach and watercress. And all three went down a treat – clean plates all round!
- 140g plain flour
- 85g butter, cubed
- 85g mature cheddar, grated
For the filling
- 4 eggs
- 175ml milk
- 100g mature cheddar, grated
- 300g asparagus, trimmed and cut in half lengthways
Preparation time: 30-40 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
1. To make the pastry, put the flour in a bowl. Tip in the butter and rub it into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles thick breadcrumbs.
2. Add the first batch of grated cheddar and mix in to the flour with a wooden spoon.
3. Add 3-4 tbsp of cold water and mix thoroughly, until the pastry forms a ball. Pick it up with your hands, wrap in cling film and chill for five minutes.
4. Meanwhile, grease a loose-bottom tart tin (I used a cake tin which worked fine).
5. Heat the oven to gas mark 4.
6. Lightly dust a work surface with flour, and use a rolling pin to roll out the pastry until it’s 1-2cm thick.
7. Line the tin with the rolled out pastry and chill in the freezer for 20 mins.
8. While you’re waiting, crack the eggs into a jug, whisk, then add the milk and whisk again.
9. Remove the pastry from the freezer and cover it with baking paper. Fill with baking beans (or rice if you don’t have any baking beans) and cook for 15 minutes.
10. Take the tin out of the oven and tip the rice away. Carefully remove the baking paper, then return the pastry case to the oven for 10 minutes.
11. Sprinkle half of the second batch of grated cheese over the pastry case, then add all of the asparagus spears. Pour over the egg mix and top with the remaining cheese.
12. Bake in the lower half of the oven for 50 or so minutes, or until the egg mix is set and the top is golden brown.
13. Serve with a green, leafy salad and some crusty bread, or a couple of side dishes of your choice.
This recipe was inspired by BBC Good Food.