Saturday, 19 May 2012

Asparagus Quiche

Asparagus tips

Yesterday I spent the day with Sarah Raven in her beautiful gardens at Perch Hill.  I’ll be writing up her amazing approach to salads and cut flowers in the next few days, but I mention where I was because of the utterly delicious asparagus quiche she served for lunch.

Crumbly buttery short pastry, with Gruyère      cheese and asparagus tips served with one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten.  Sarah’s layered salads include a base lettuce, salad leaves, herbs, salad vegetables and edible flowers.  Salad will never be boring again. 

Back to my own asparagus quiche recipe - I had just had a sample pack of Secretts asparagus send to me, and I spent a happy half an hour photographing them before making a quiche.  I have to admit these elegant, juicy British spears were astonishingly fresh and married with salty anchovies, with a sidekick of sour from the capers they were really superb.  Although this recipe is an old favourite, I was so inspired by Sarah’s twist of gruyere cheese I decided to change just one element from a recipe in Prepped and so I have added some Gruyère. It really adds a lovely texture, making it chewy and soft.  Sarah's original recipe can be found in Sarah’s book Food for family and friends.

In the mean time my top time and money saving tips for this recipe are:

1 Halve the cost of your pastry by making your own.  

2 Use up the bottoms of the asparagus in a soup recipe -  Arther Potts Dawson has a superb recipe for just this in his new book Eat Your Veg

3 Make three lots of pastry at the same time and blind bake all three.  Use the first for the quiche today.  Pop the second in the fridge to use for up at a week.  Pop the third in the freezer for any time in the next three months, and you can have another two quick no effort lunch on the table in minutes. 

Asparagus tart

Serves  6 - 8
Prep time 10 minutes

12  in season British asparagus spears
40grams of Parmesan
175g fresh Gruyère grated
2 tbsp capers
30g anchovies in olive oil drained
3 free range eggs, beaten
200ml of British semi-skimmed milk
375g pack of ready roll all butter short crust pastry

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.

2 Roll out the pastry and line a large quiche dish. ( mine is about 12 inches )  Blind bake the pasty for 15 minutes using baking parchment and baking beans to weigh the paper down. Once baked, remove the paper and cut the tops of the asparagus to fit and arrange as you find attractive. Scatter over the cheese, capers, and drained anchovies.

3 In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and milk together and pour into the dish. Bake for 25–30 minutes until it has risen and is a golden colour.


  1. Love asparagus and it is so lovely at the moment - have just made some soup myself for one of Dom's challenges - lovely tart.

  2. lovely recipe darling... I love asparagus and got an incredible bunch at the market in Pollensa last week... they were divine!

  3. What a beautifully seasonal and British recipe. I will certainly be making this for many summer lunches once the sun shows itself!

  4. Thanks for the lovely comments .. such a short season !

  5. I was invited to this press day but was unable to make it, what a shame.....I ADORE asparagus too.


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