Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Asparagus Quiche with Tomatoes and Tarragon

My first time making and eating quiche and now I am a huge fan. I always thought 'warm, vegetable pie? I am not sure if I'd like it'. But it actually is really tasty and it turned out so pretty that I dreaded slicing it.

I bought a much needed tart pan just for this meal at Williams Sonoma for under $10. I would suggest purchasing one, if you don't have one already. The main reason why I got the pan and didn't just use a pie dish is because the bottom comes out. That makes removing the quiche from the pan so easy.

The only problem I encountered while making this was with the crust. Everything was fine until it came time to roll it. The texture was really crumbly and started to break apart as I rolled. So I ended up rolling it out a little and then just grabbing and pressing pieces into my tart pan until the entire thing was covered with dough. I don't know why it turned out crumbly, anyone have any ideas? Maybe I did something wrong? Water or shortening not cold enough I was thinking.

But anyways, I made the crust and the filling the night before, to help cut down on the time needed in the morning. It's just getting too hot to spend so much time in the kitchen during the day time. So when morning came, all I had to do with put everything together and do a quick bake. The end result was totally worth all the work and now I want to experiment with other quiche recipes.

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Asparagus Quiche with Tomatoes and Tarragon

Time - 1 hour 30 minutes, plus cooling time
Serves 6 to 8

* 1 recipe Basic Single Pastry Crust or a Pre-Made Pastry Crust ( Recipe Below )
* 4 Tb olive oil
* 1 pound asparagus, rough ends discarded
* 2 shallots, skins removed, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic
* 1 cup walnuts
* 1 1/2 cups cooked navy beans, or 1 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed
* 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh tarragon, plus 2 Tb finely chopped
* 2 Tb cornstarch
* 3/4 tsp salt
* 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
* Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
* 1/3 cup plain whole wheat bread crumbs
* 4 slices beefsteak or Holland tomato, or any really big tomato

1. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the tips off four pieces of the asparagus and set aside for garnish. Slice the rest into 1/2 inch lengths.

2. Saute the asparagus ( except for the reserved tips ) in a tablespoon of the olive oil for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. While the asparagus is cooking, place the walnuts, the 1/4 cup of tarragon, and the nutmeg, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse into crumbs, so that no whole walnuts are left.

4. Remove the asparagus from the pan and transfer to a shallow bowl to cool a bit. Saute the shallots in another tablespoon of the olive oil for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 3 more minutes, being careful not to burn it. Transfer the shallots and garlic to the asparagus and let cool for a few more minutes.

5. When the vegetables have stopped steaming, add them to the food processor. Pulse a few times and scrape down the sides. Add the beans and puree until relatively smooth, although the walnuts will still be grainy. Add the cornstarch ( sift first, if very clumpy ) and pulse until thoroughly combined. Transfer the mixture to a bowl ( use the bowl the veggies were cooling in, to cut down on dish duties ), cover, and refrigerate for about 45 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Roll out the pastry dough to fit an 8 inch glass pie plate. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.

7. Remove the baked crust from the oven. Spoon the asparagus filling into the crust and smooth out evenly. Sprinkle the top with half the bread crumbs and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Then, place the tomato slices on top of the bread crumbs with an asparagus tip between each tomato. Sprinkle on the remaining bread crumbs, some freshly ground black pepper, a few pinches of salt, and the chopped tarragon. Drizzle again with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

8. Bake for 45 minutes. Let cool for about 20 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Basic Single Pastry Crust

Time - 20 minutes, plus chill time
Makes 1 pastry crust

* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 Tb sugar
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 tsp baking powder
* 1/3 cup cold non-hydrogenated vegan shortening
* 1/4 cup cold water, plus 2 Tb if needed
* 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add the shortening by the teaspoon, but you don't need to be precise about this. You just want to add it in small chunks in three batches and then cut it into flour with each additional.

2. Cut the shortening in until the dough in crumbly and pebbly.

3. Combine the vinegar with 1/4 cup of the water. Add the mixture to the dough in three batches, gently mixing it into the dough with a fork, until the dough holds together when pinched. If need be, add up to 2 tablespoons more water.

4. Gather the dough into a ball and knead gently a few times, just until it holds together. Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour, then flatten the ball into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.

5. When ready to roll out the crust, place a large piece of baking parchment on your work surface. Unwrap the dough and place it on the parchment. Sprinkle your rolling pin with flour and roll the dough into a 12 inch circle. It may slip around a bit from the parchment, but that's okay, just work steadily and gently. Your crust is now ready to use.

6. Lift the parchment and flip the crust into a pie plate. Tuck in and trim the edges.


  1. uh...yum! if i had weekends off, this would be my brunch of choice. on day my friend came over with a vegan quiche she made for me, as a surprise and it was divine! would you be interested in doing my ask a vegan? you would be perfect!

  2. yes! yay : D
    I love your ask a vegan posts..thank you!

  3. Hey Jacklyn! This is pretty. I would love a slice if it weren't for the two pieces of vegan pizza in my stomach;)...
    Hey, usually a crumbly crust means more fat is needed (not always but usually). I can look at that crust recipe without knowing you had a bit of a problem and see that this would probably happen with the A.P. Flour to Solid Fat ratio...?!
    On my quiche post there is a delicious, easy, and very unhealthful vegan crust (smile).

  4. mm vegan pizza sounds wonderful too!
    I took a look at your Quiche recipe and I do agree that your crust is a lot similar and sounds just as delicious. I will try your recipe next time I make Quiche. Thank you for suggesting it : ]

  5. What a beautiful and delicious looking quiche! I envy you still getting green asparagus at this time.

  6. A vegan quiche? Now this is what I've been dreaming of...

  7. My Jacklyn! My Jacklyn!
    Hey, I just found out about something, and I've been meaning to tell you in case your don't already know about it. Okay, the 'it' is a sight called 'Finding Vegan'. It's like Photograzing, but obviously for vegan only recipes. I just wanted to tell you in case you weren't aware (smile)...

  8. Oh thank you Stella! Yes, I've been uploading at Photograzing since you told me and I've seen your pictures there as well : ]
    Finding Vegan does look a lot like Photograzing. I will start uploading there too. Thank you for letting me know!

  9. I don't see you mention it anywhere, but isn't this the recipe from the Veganomicon?

  10. This recipe is from veganomicon...I think the author should be given credit :(