9 Oct 2013
Thank you all so much for your sweet comments and well wishes while I was sick! It feels amazing to be back in good health, and one result of this is that, after a week of bland soup, I was VERY INTO the idea of eating food. Really extravagantly delicious food. I picked out a few new recipes, bought fancy cheese and olives, and schemed about how to use everything in our fridge before it went bad. We had, puzzlingly enough, a bundle of asparagus. I know that this is a weird time of year to be eating asparagus, but it magically appeared at the farmer’s market last week, and who am I to question the bounty that those wonderful people offer me each week? If there’s no asparagus where you are right now, bookmark this one for Easter. It’s a keeper.
Funnily enough, I do not like eggs. It’s one of my character flaws. I mean, I don’t mind if they’re in things, as long as I can’t really taste them, but straight up eggs are too much for me. I think I might, in addition to the character flaw, have a tastebud flaw, like the one that makes cilantro taste like soap to some people. So, for years, I stayed away from quiche, the eggiest dish around. However! I very happily learned while making a vegetable tart that if you put enough cream in with the eggs, then all bets are off. Egg bets, that is. This is a very elaborate way of saying mmmm, cream, you cover up the taste of egg with your deliciousness. (NB: I have met a few eggs I liked: Steve’s scrambled eggs with creme fraiche, my BFF’s quiches, and, the egg deal breaker, my grandmother’s deviled eggs). (And a little side note to Kendra: I am chatty tonight!)
Once I came up with this decadent idea, I whipped up some pie dough and sautéed my veggies. I also had fresh thyme on hand (because it is my most favorite herb ever), so I tossed a good handful or two of that in as well (in leaf form, I mean). I put down a nice layer of parmesan first. Our pie plates are so special to me–they were an engagement gift from my sweet Uncle Mark and Aunt Anne. Every time I use them, I think of them and remember those early days, when we were planning away and pinching ourselves that we were soon going to be able to see each other every day.
Next came the veggies.
And the egg and cream mixture, topped with more cheese and a few sprigs of thyme for good measure.
In 50 minutes, it looked like this, and we tore right into it. It was so, so good. I now kind of think quiche is the answer to everything. Or at least what to do with my asparagus.
Asparagus Thyme Quiche
Adapted from Martha Stewart, who has never steered me wrong
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling dough
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons ice water, plus 2 more, if needed
-In a food processor, pulse flour, salt, and sugar several times to combine. Add butter. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with just a few pea-size pieces remaining.
-Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed with fingers (if needed, add up to 2 tablespoons more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Do not overprocess.
-Turn dough out onto a work surface; form dough into a 3/4-inch-thick disk. Wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
-Before baking, unwrap dough; place on a large piece of floured waxed paper. Roll dough to a 14-inch round. Using paper, lift and wrap dough around rolling pin (discarding paper); carefully unroll over a 9-inch pie plate. Gently fit into bottom and up sides of plate.
-Trim overhang to 1 inch; fold overhang under itself. Pinch between thumb and forefinger to make a uniform edge around the rim. Crimp edge; refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, finely diced (Martha calls for a leek, but I didn’t have one)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 bunch (1 pound) asparagus, tough ends removed, thinly sliced on the diagonal
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese (4 ounces)
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lowest position. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium. Add onion, asparagus, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes; let cool. Deglaze pan if necessary; you want all that caramelized flavor.
-In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place pie crust on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese; top with asparagus mixture. Pour egg mixture on top. Tope with a bit of parmesan and a few sprigs of thyme.
-Bake until center of quiche is just set, 50 to 60 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.