Leek & Asparagus Quiche

Most people don’t think of local farms and seasonal produce when they hear “New Jersey” but that IS the reality. It isn’t called the Garden State for nothing. And even though most may envision a gray shipping port in the dark shadows of the shiny heavenly skyscrapers just across the Hudson River, most of New Jersey is country, full of beautiful rolling hills, rivers and lots and lots of farmland. Not only that, but NJ also plays really nice with upstate NY’s, PA’s and CT’s farmland. All this to say, this area is a locavore’s heaven.

quiche, tart, savory, leeks, asparagus, leek, gruyere, cheese, eggs, breakfast, brunch, bacon, lardon, dough, recipe

So eating and cooking with local seasonal produce here is second-nature. Farmers markets are preparing for their big debut in a few weeks, peppering nearly every other town in NJ, and local farm stores are beginning to open their doors everyday with their first crops of the season.

I know I’ve said it before, but I can’t really say it enough: it is nearly impossible to avoid feeling that spring fever, especially after eyeing all the gorgeous neon green new produce, herbs and flowers at the market.

quiche, tart, savory, leeks, asparagus, leek, gruyere, cheese, eggs, breakfast, brunch, bacon, lardon, dough, recipe

Speaking of herbs, I’ll be blogging soon about my current extracurricular project: a homemade DIY indoor herb garden solution for renters. I’ve been jonesing for an indoor herb garden since living in LA, and since realizing that the sub-30° winter temperatures do outdoor herbs no favors… more to come soon.

Back to the local produce.

After recently bringing home my new spring spoils from the grocery store – a huge bunch of young asparagus spears and two enormous fragrant leeks – I decided a quiche was in my near future.

quiche, tart, savory, leeks, asparagus, leek, gruyere, cheese, eggs, breakfast, brunch, bacon, lardon, dough, recipe

I’ve always loved quiche as well as its close cousins, the savory tart and frittata. Eggs and a creamy, cheesy savory custard blanket perfectly showcase and wrap delicate ingredients like leeks and asparagus. This quiche is case in point.

The beauty of this quiche is that (aside from the homemade dough!) it’s extremely easy and pretty much fool-proof. You can keep it vegetarian by leaving the bacon lardons off, but that would make me a little sad. Because the bacon is just such a nice little smoky/salty addition to the nutty creamy flavors of the quiche. But of course, it’s up to you. Just beware: a fairy loses her wings every time you forego bacon.

quiche, tart, savory, leeks, asparagus, leek, gruyere, cheese, eggs, breakfast, brunch, bacon, lardon, dough, recipe

 

Leek & Asparagus Quiche

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: easy-moderate
  • Print

I’ve included the recipe for homemade quiche crust, but you can certainly make this recipe even easier by using pre-made pie crust from your grocer’s frozen food section. Also, you can substitute the whole milk and cream for 1 ¼ c half & half. Finally, if you prefer keeping this quiche vegetarian, then leave off the bacon.

Ingredients

      Quiche Dough
  • 1¼ c all-purpose flour (plus extra for rolling dough)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 8 TB very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (frozen is best)
  • 3-4 TB ice water
    • Leek & Asparagus Quiche Filling
  • 1 TB unsalted butter
  • 1 lb asparagus, diced diagonally in 1 inch pieces (with tough pale ends cut off – save them in your freezer for vegetable stock!)
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced and washed (white and lighter green parts only – keep ends of leeks in your freezer for vegetable stock!)
  • 4 large eggs
  • -½ c whole milk
  • ¾ c heavy cream
  • -½ tsp salt -½ tsp pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 c grated gruyere cheese
  • 2 slices uncooked bacon, chopped into 1/2 inch squares (optional)

Directions

      Quiche Dough
  1. In a food processor, combine flour, salt and sugar, and pulse repeatedly until they are well blended, about 30 seconds. Add butter pieces. Continue to pulse mixture until butter has broken down to no bigger than small pea-sized pieces, and the mixture resembles course meal.
  2. Sprinkle 3 TB of ice water into flour mixture, and pulse until dough begins to stick to itself. Test the dough by pressing it together between your fingers – if it sticks to itself without falling apart, then it’s done. If it is still crumbly, add 1 more TB of ice water, and pulse for about 1 more minute.
  3. Turn dough out of food processor onto a clean work surface. Lightly knead and work the dough into an incorporated ball. The dough shouldn’t be sticky, and after a couple minutes, nearly all of the flour crumbs should be worked into the dough. Press the dough into a round disc ¾ of an inch thick. Wrap the disc tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate and chill for minimum 1 hour before using.
    • Leek & Asparagus Filling
  4. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large non-stick saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add leeks and asparagus, and saute for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg together until egg yolks are broken, and mixture is pale yellow in color throughout.
  6. Unwrap and place refrigerated pie dough onto lightly floured work surface. Roll out disc to 14 inches wide round shape. Slowly and gently wrap the dough around rolling pin, and then slowly and gently unwrap dough from rolling pin over a fluted tart pan (with removable bottom) or a standard pie pan. Press dough into inside of pan, and trim overhang at edges.
  7. Sprinkle half of shredded gruyere cheese into pie dough and cover bottom evenly. Add leeks and asparagus over cheese. Pour egg mixture over veggies. Finish by evenly sprinkling second half of gruyere cheese evenly over top of quiche.
  8. Place pie dish onto baking sheet in the lower half of oven, and bake for 40 minutes.
  9. After 40 minutes baking time, remove pie from oven and sprinkle bacon pieces evenly over top of quiche. Place quiche back into oven rotated 180 degrees from original placement, and bake for additional 20 minutes until quiche sets in the middle without wiggling too much.
  10. Cool quiche for 20 minutes before serving.


quiche, tart, savory, leeks, asparagus, leek, gruyere, cheese, eggs, breakfast, brunch, bacon, lardon, dough, recipe

2 Comments

  • 2 years ago

    Looks absolutely delish!! Love a good quiche (:

    • 2 years ago

      thank you! it is really quite good – I’m already wishing I had made two, as we’re eating through this one so quickly!! 🙂

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