Local Asparagus is Here!
By: Katherine Rossmoore of Better Living Through LOCAL Foods
Local asparagus literally arrived on my doorstep this week! My friend Sue bought an antique home in North Marshfield a few years back and one of the top draws for her and her husband was all the amazing old growth gardens and plantings from decades ago. Fortunately for her (and for me), asparagus were included: lovely long slender and medium-sized gorgeous stalks growing right in her back yard. So when I got home and found she had delivered some to my back porch, I set to work on creating an asparagus quiche with ingredients I already had in my kitchen. Because of the success and popularity of my paleo-inspired chard tart, I created another paleo crust, this time with almond meal and I added 1T of gluten free flour (a combo of rice flour (2/3) and sorghum flour (1/3)) so not really paleo (but grain-free), I also used 2 T real butter, since I didn’t want the taste of coconut oil.
One good way to get your kids to try asparagus is to tell them it makes your pee smell funny. They have to try asparagus to see if it’s true. In my home, one of my boys loves quiche and will eat it. The other only likes his asparagus roasted with garlic salt or lots of garlic and salt. Both are good choices in my book. And the pee trick worked when they were young.
Begin by making the crust, since it has to be par-baked first. Preheat oven to 350°.
2 Cups almond meal or almond flour
1 T gluten free flour*
½ t sea salt
2 T butter, softened
Place the almond meal, flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse or whisk to blend well so you don’t get clumps of one thing. Add the butter, in pieces, and the egg, and then pulse until the mixture forms a ball. Once the dough ball forms (it will be super sticky), press it into to bottom and sides of a tart pan with removable bottom and then bake at @350° for 10 minutes. Let cool while you do the rest.
*regular flour is fine too; I just happened to be trying to work with gluten-free flours at the same time and I must say not with great success so I’m really glad I’m not gluten free!
Asparagus Filling for Tart
A small bunch of Asparagus, about 2 fists full for a medium woman’s hands (sorry guys: just guesstimate!)
3 large eggs
½ C milk
1 t salt
½ t dry mustard
¼-1/2 Cup chopped fresh chives, to taste
¾ Cup grated cheese ( I used Manchego but you can use Gruyere, Swiss, Romano, or even cheddar.)
Snap off the bottoms of the asparagus if tough, chop the remaining stalk into about 1 inch pieces. Bring a medium pot of water, lightly salted, to a rolling boil. Prepare an ice bath to plunge the asparagus in to keep their bright green lovely color. (This is just a large bowl of ice water that your colander can sink into). When the water is boiling, add the chopped asparagus and let them cook for a mere 2-5 minutes, so that they are cooked but still bright green; remove from heat, quickly drain and plunge into ice bath to cool off and keep their nice color!
Line the cooled pie crust with the grated cheese. Spread the asparagus over the cheese. Make a custard by whisking together eggs, milk, salt and dry mustard, add fresh chopped chives to taste. Pour the custard over the asparagus in the crust.
Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until filling no longer jiggles in the center.
Katherine Rossmoore is an integrative health and wellness guide, using her love of clean whole foods and cooking to help people demystify the healthy kitchen. She is also a writer, mother and certified yoga teacher. Find her at www.betterlivingthroughfoods.com