Fresh Spring produce shines in this quiche with a simple cracker crumb base and truffled cheddar cheese to compliment. Go-Green!
Fresh English peas – still in their pods, plump fava beans, sturdy lacinato kale, fat bulbs of spring onions, purple haize asparagus: The language of Spring’s first vegetable offerings.
As I find myself counting down the days to the opening of my favorite farmers’ markets (in the northeast that’s late May) I decided to go scavenging for early spring produce at some local markets. I found an oustanding selection at Walter Stewart’s Market in New Canaan, CT – an award-winning local family market. I recommend researching specialty shops in your area as they have relationships with smaller growers of interesting and unusual crops.
The purple haize asparagus immediately caught my eye. The violet colored heads were tight, and the stalks, firm and glossy, showing off it’s just-picked freshness. To my delight, they do not turn a khaki shade of green when cooked like purple string beans! When cut, they reveal their bright green interiors. This variety is also less fiberous than green aspargus, a bit sweeter and more tender! I invisioned the tips gracing the top of a quiche, and the stalks could be thinly sliced encased in a creamy flan. My search up and down the tightly packed fruit and vegetable aisle continued, with more organic selections than in conventional markets.
Thinking green, I chose lacinato kale to blend with the eggs and milk to create a bright green custard base. Fava beans and english peas in their shells are some of my favorites and went in my basket, as did large bulbs of spring green onions.
On my drive home, the recipe was echoing in my mind, and I knew the key to making a quiche without a heavy, thick crust (a trick I learned catering) – cook 3″ individual quiches in silicone baking pans (muffin pans). They pop out, never stick, never overcook.
The key to this glorious bright-green finished color of the quiche is to quickly saute the sliced kale (with a little chopped garlic for a pungent flair) and whirl in a blender with the eggs and milk. An instant green custard base.
On the bottom of the individual cups I press in some organic golden crackers crumbs which I toss with some melted butter. Look for them in health food stores, non gmo and no undesireable ingredients (sorry Ritz – I do not consume high-fructose corn syrup or partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil!)
To produce a photo ready quiche (in the visual world of pinterest and instagram) the quiches are baked for 10 minutes, then topped with pretty vegetables (they wont sink) and returned to the oven to puff up and finish cooking.
Truffled cheddar cheese compliments the earthy flavor of the asparagus. For a little decadence, brush the tops of the quiches with some truffle oil when the come out of the oven! A great compliment on the side is – lightly dressed petite edible herbs and lettuces.
Quiche is a healthy and tasty treat to be eaten as a light lunch, dinner or on the go snack. They freeze well, and are even good cold out of the refrigerator.