What a better way to celebrate today’s beautiful weather in Perth, than with all the fresh spring produce out there! Fresh Australian asparagus is available from September to March, making it the perfect spring and summer vegetable for all menus. Chefs and home cooks alike
become excited when it appears in early spring, as this not only signifies that the weather is warming up nicely but that there is much delicious eating to be had!
Serves – 10 people
Cooks – in 1 hour and 45 minutes
Difficulty – Simple
What’s great about it:
Asparagus has abundant nutrition packed into every spear which helps to protect the body against future disease. According to Glenn Cardwell, an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist , one serve of asparagus includes:
- B vitamins – help the body convert fuel from the diet, such as carbohydrate, into energy.
- Folate – One serve of asparagus provides over 20% of the folate we need daily.
- Vitamin C – One serve of asparagus provides a quarter of our daily needs of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant and helps in the absorption of iron in the diet.
- Potassium & Sodium – Helps keep a steady heartbeat and healthy blood pressure.
How you choose to create this recipe all depends on the time and energy you have, but will not compromise on the taste! If you have an extra half an hour up your sleeve, by not having a go at making your own pastry? Or if you
are a little short on time, like us, then simply use the frozen kind. Quiche also looks best when they’re home made & rustic so go ahead and roughly chop those veggies!
freshly ground black pepper
100g fresh peas and broad beans , podded
75g baby spinach
2 spring onions
4 large free-range eggs
150ml double cream
150ml semi-skimmed milk
½ a bunch of fresh chives
75g goat’s cheese
For the pastry:
300 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
150 g unsalted butter , at room temperature, cubed
To make the pastry, sift the flour and a good pinch of salt into a bowl, then rub in the butter with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually add 125ml of cold water, continuously mixing until it comes together to form a rough dough, adding a splash more water, if needed. Bring it together with your hands, wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Snap off and discard the woody ends from the asparagus, then slice the stalks into 1cm chunks, reserving the tips. Blanch the asparagus (including the tips), peas and broad beans in a pan of boiling salted water for 1 minute, then drain. Roughly chop and stir in the spinach so it wilts slightly, then refresh the veg under cold running water. Drain well and place into a large bowl. Add the spring onions.
Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk in the cream, milk and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Chop and stir in the chives.
On a flour-dusted surface, roll out the rested dough to roughly ½cm thick. Roll the pastry up around the rolling pin, then carefully unroll it to cover a 23cm loose-bottomed tart tin. Gently press the pastry into the tart tin, moulding it to the tin as you go. Trim away any overhanging pastry, then line with a double layer of gladwrap. Fill nearly to the top with uncooked rice or beans, then bake in the oven for 12 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove the rice or beans and clingfilm, then return the tart case to the oven for a further 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
Spoon the greens into the pastry case, pour in the cream mixture and crumble over the goat’s cheese. Place the quiche in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until just set. Leave to cool slightly, then serve with a crisp green salad.
Read more fantastic spring recipes at http://www.jamieoliver.com or visit the Australia Asparagus Council for more information.