Spring Asparagus Quiche

Spring food! Yay!

I started thinking about the recipes for different seasons that I have on my blog, and how spring food is always the hardest to make. Summer food is light sandwiches and salads, fall food is spicy and full of fresh produce, and winter food is earthy and filling.

Spring, though? Asparagus, spring onions, artichokes…anything else? What could I cook that would be more than just a side dish?

Spring Quiche!

I remembered how pretty asparagi look when laid out on a quiche, and decided to throw something together with spring veges as well. I find tofu to be a great substitute for eggs in quiche—you can spice it nicely, it mixes well, and it gets pretty and golden with a little skin just like eggs do in quiche.

You can also make the crust and filling ahead of time, or the whole quiche, and refrigerate until ready to bake. You could also cook this ahead and reheat it.

It also makes great leftovers! I like eating it cold for lunch.

Conclusion: you should probably make this right now.

Since it’s getting a little later in spring, only the ass-ugly asparagi rejects with thick trunks are out, it seems. If you can grab the svelte little stalks, then definitely do that. If you’re left with tree trunks, then peel them a little, chop up into 1″ pieces, and mix with the fillings. No one wants to look at those on top.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

160 g (1 1/4 c) flour

2 g (1/2 t) salt

60 g (1/4 c) butter, chilled and sliced

60 g (1/4 c) shortening

2+ T ice water

For the filling:

2 blocks (16 oz.) extra-firm tofu, rinsed and pressed

dash onion powder

dash garlic powder

1/4 c nutch

2 T olive oil

2 t achiote seeds

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 bunch (~1 lb) asparagus

handful mushrooms (your choice), sliced

2 handfuls baby spinach

2-3 spring onions, thinly sliced

handful Daiya cheddar style shreds

Method:

Preheat the oven to 225ºC (425ºF).

In a food processor, mix together the flour, salt, butter, and shortening. (If mixing by hand, drop the shortening in by small bits and work the fat all the way into the flour before adding water.)

Add the water, adding a little bit more if the dough isn’t coming together. It should start balling up like this:

quiche dough just coming together

Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least half an hour.

In the mean time, clean the food processor and add the tofu into it. add the onion powder, garlic powder, nutch, olive oil, achiote powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.

achiote-seasoned (and coloured!) tofu quiche filling

In a non-stick skillet, sauté the mushrooms in a little olive oil, sprinkling with salt and pepper. When browning, add the spinach and cover, letting steam a little. When wilted, turn off the heat and throw in the spring onions. Throw in a handful of Daiya cheese and let melt. (I forgot mine, but the quiche still tasted good!)

spring vege mix for spring quiche

In another skillet, sauté the asparagus in a little olive oil until bright green. They can be a little hard—they’ll continue to cook on the quiche in the oven. (Remember: if they’re thick and ugly, then slice them up into 1″ pieces.)

Mix the mushrooms, spinach, and onions in with the tofu filling. (If using ugly asparagus, then mix those in, too.)

Remove the pie crust from the fridge, roll out, and place in a tart or pie pan.

Scoop the filling into the pie crust and press down so that it fills the whole crust.

Lay the pretty asparagus over the filling in whatever way you think is nicest. I liked mine with the tips overlapping in the centre and all the pieces parallel.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is just beginning to get golden.

Remove and let cool a little before slicing and serving.

Garnishes: springs of vegetables, a small edible flower (purple would contrast nicely!)
Goes well with: café au lait, fresh fruit, or freshly squeezed blood orange (or other) juice

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