One thing I really enjoyed whilst living up a mountain in Italy was the arrival of the spring as towards the end of winter the grass would be very brown and the land tired and wet as the snow slowly melted.
Then all of a sudden the temperatures would raise, the trees would turn green and flowers would start to appear all over the fields, a really pretty moment.
It was also the season of asparagus and restaurants would be full of wonderful seasonal recipes, asparagus risotto, asparagus and eggs – a huge favourite and plenty of other creative ideas like my Jersey potato salad.
I had lost my cooking mojo this past couple of months but the sight of fresh asparagus in the supermarket was enough for me to want to buy it and make something. I went with a quiche as it’s handy to have for my lunches throughout the week and came up with Asparagus, pea and pastrami Quiche.
As a change from the normal recipe I have used some natural yogurt in the egg mix and this has made a firmer quiche plus an extra flavour that compliments the asparagus very well.
A tasty seasonal quiche using asparagus and peas with the addition of Pastrami chopped up finely. Perfect for lunches and picnics too.
Author: Marianne Weekes
Recipe type: Lunch
1 pack of ready to roll shortcrust pastry
flour to dust surfaces and rolling pin
poppy seeds (optional)
bunch of asparagus boiled
200g frozen peas
200g sliced pastrami
3 large eggs (4 small)
150g natural yogurt
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Roll out the pastry and line a pie dish, sprinkle the base with the poppy seeds and push lightly into the pastry.
Place a layer of foil inside and put baking beans on top. Bake blind in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove the baking beans and put to one side.
In the meantime, boil the asparagus to al dente, remember it will be cooking further in the oven. towards the end add the frozen peas to the saucepan and once back to boiling, turn off and drain well. Asparagus tends to hold on to a lot of water so leave to drain for a while.
Break the eggs into a jug and beat them well, add the yogurt and beat well making sure there are no lumps. Add the milk and mix well.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Cut the asparagus in half, keep the florets to one side for decoration and chop the other half into small pieces, scatter these and the peas over the base.
Dice the pastrami and scatter around the quiche base. Keep a handful back for a final scatter.
Place the asparagus florets in a fan around the quiche and scatter over the remainder of the pastrami.
Pour over the egg mixture and season the top.
Place in the preheated oven at 180C for 35- 40 minutes, touch the surface to test it should be firm and spring under your touch. If watery give it an extra five minutes. Done when the top is golden brown.
I went a bit mad shopping before Christmas, well not totally mad but cocktail sausages must have been on my mind as I stacked the freezer with them.
Admittedly they are all different tastes, like Cumberland, or lamb ones plus the usual pork ones too.
So when I was sorting out my freezer and came across more cocktail sausages I knew exactly what I’d do, an English Breakfast quiche, after all think sausage, eggs and bacon and what comes to mind? An English Breakfast, right?
It has been the perfect lunchtime snack this week and the girls have nibbled a bit after school too. Dad will happily polish off a slice when he gets in famished after his day at work too.
My usual ratio for a quiche is 2 eggs – 300ml milk, sometimes I may add some yogurt (natural) or some cream if it needs finishing off too. Adapt as to whatever you find in your fridge and remember this makes a perfect family meal which can be frozen too.
English Breakfast Quiche
1 large onion
drop of olive oil (or knob of butter)
4 rashers bacon
6 chipolata sausages
150 g cherry tomatoes
2 eggs (medium)
300 ml milk
salt and pepper to season
1 pack of ready to roll shortcrust pastry
1 x 24 cms flat dish
Take out the pastry from the fridge 30 minutes before rolling to allow it to come to room temperature.
Peel and chop the onion finely, fry in a drop of olive oil or butter until golden and soft.
Chop the bacon and sausages into bite size pieces and add to the onions, fry gently until cooked.
Add the mushrooms and fry for a couple of minutes to soften and colour towards the end.
Roll out the pastry and line a greased 24cms pie dish, prick the bottom with a fork, line with baking paper and add ceramic beans, bake blind for 15 minutes. (180 C)
Remove the paper and beans and place the onion and meat mixture on the bottom of the flan, spread evenly over the base and dot the halved cherry tomatoes on top
Whisk the eggs in a jug add the milk, season with salt and pepper and pour over the filling.
Place in the oven at 180 C for 35 minutes or until your quiche is firm to touch and golden on top
Perfect for all the family, can be eaten hot or cold.
If there’s one lunch I love in the summer it’s a slice of quiche with salad and this one came about because I had a tub of double cream in the fridge that needed using up! A quiche recipe easy to follow and prepare.
I also had a handful of frozen spinach which I added much to the disappointment of Alice who would have preferred it without, she was very vocal about it.
I use ready made shortcrust pastry these days, I try to keep some in the freezer all the time and out of one pack I can get two large quiches made. It also reduces the time spent preparing this tasty meal.
Ideal for summer lunches, picnics, lunch boxes and party food
Quattro formaggi and chorizo quiche
1/2 pack of shortcrust pastry – I used Jusrol
4 different cheeses – I used Gorgonzola, Cheddar, Wensleydale and red Leicester
10 baby tomatoes sliced in half
8 slices of thinly sliced chorizo
150ml double cream
salt and pepper
1. Roll out your pastry large enough to line your 25 cms quiche dish on a floured surface and after pricking the base a couple of times with a fork, line with tin foil, fill with baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes at 200C.
2. Remove the tin foil and baking beans and sprinkle the different cheeses cut into bite sized cubes evenly over the base. (I had a handful of spinach to use up so added this too) Lower the oven to 190C.
3. Scatter the baby tomatoes evenly in the dish and finish by placing the slices of chorizo around the pie.
4. Beat the eggs with salt and pepper to taste, add the double cream and the milk and pour into the pastry case evenly. It should come to about 1cm from the top of the pie dish
5. Bake the quiche in the 190C oven for about 40 minutes or until set.
Once out of the oven and cooled – hide it as everyone will want a piece and there will be none left for your lunch which is what you prepared it for ;)
Rummaging around in the fridge I discovered I still have cheeses that were bought for Christmas lying around, big unopened pieces! Now I can’t throw anything out without checking first so I opened them up and having trimmed off the edges they were all perfectly fine but of course I needed to use them quick – Ta dah!
A Cheeseboard Quiche that I could eat for lunch during the week.
I love quiche. I eat it cold in the summer, warm in the winter and if there’s one on a buffet I have to have a bit on my plate so again using ready made shortcrust pastry I give you my latest ‘use up the leftovers’ recipe and please keep in mind this is an incredibly adaptable dish, just use the same mixture to cover your fillings – a selection of my favourite alternative fillings are given below
Ready to roll shortcrust pastry
3 large eggs
200 ml milk
salt and pepper
ham – mine was a cheap sandwich ham
leftover cheese – I had Stilton and Red Leicester
Heat the oven to 200C Gas 6
Roll out the pastry larger than the base of your dish (and the sides!). Roll over your rolling pin on itself to pick it up and move it over your pie dish, ease the pastry into the dish making sure it’s not tight as it will shrink so allow lots of pastry in. Allow the edges to hang over untidily (you can cut later) Prick the bottom with a fork 2/3 times. Overdo it and all your filling will seep out and burn. I know because I’ve done it!
Place a sheet of baking paper in the pie loosely, tip in your baking beans and push towards the edges where it will shrink more. I have used the Tala ceramic baking beans here.
Bake ‘blind’ for 20 mins till the pastry looks golden around the edge.
Whilst the case is baking finely chop an onion and fry it slowly until it is soft and golden.
Whilst the onion is frying, beat the eggs and milk in a bowl with seasoning. You can add double cream instead of milk to make a richer mixture but as you know I’m trying to lose weight
Remove the baking beans form the pastry case and bake for another 10 mins until golden all over
Brush beaten egg over any cracks or fork holes and bake for another couple of mins
Cut the overhanging pastry off with a serrated knife and turn the oven down to 150C Gas 2
Scatter the onion evenly over the pastry case, Add the ham and cheese evenly over the base then pour on your egg mixture
Make sure it’s all even, I always have my quiche dish on a baking tray and then slot it in the middle of the oven for about 40 minutes until the filling has set.
sausage and broccoli (or another veg)
asparagus and ham
cherry tomatoes and chorizo
cooked vegetables (carrots, broccoli, green beans, mushrooms)
anything you’ve got lying around in the fridge – go for it!
And to finish off this was the spectacular sunset I had outside my garden window last night – look at the colour!